Bobby tipped to get England call

With Emile Heskey retired, Capello is on the look-out for a new

forward ahead of Wednesday’s tussle with Hungary at Wembley.

Capello would have picked Zamora in his 30-man provisional World

Cup squad had it not been for an Achilles injury that required an

operation and left the Fulham man fearing he would not do himself

justice in South Africa. At 29, Zamora hardly represents a bright

new future for disgruntled Three Lions supporters and, in a sense,

represents the malaise affecting the England team. But, having

shown a reluctance to utilise the talents of both Darren Bent and

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Zamora should at least figure in Capello’s

squad. There could be a strong Arsenal flavour to it too as Theo

Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and 18-year-old Jack Wilshere are all tipped

for inclusion. Wilshere was a notable absentee from Stuart Pearce’s

Under-21 squad to face Uzbekistan, so the midfielder may be

elevated to senior ranks far sooner than many expected, although he

did catch the eye during an excellent half-season on loan at

Bolton. As Jack Rodwell and Danny Welbeck will be on Under-21 duty

it is difficult to see which other youngsters might gain selection

aside from Manchester City’s Adam Johnson, whose omission from the

World Cup looks like a mistake given the lack of impact from Blues

team-mate Shaun Wright-Phillips and the other wide-man in South

Africa, Aaron Lennon. The gamble of selecting Jamie Carragher and

Ledley King despite not playing any part in qualifying did not work

and neither will be considered for the Hungary game, which serves

as a warm-up to next month’s Euro 2012 double-header with Bulgaria

and Switzerland. Instead, Everton’s Phil Jagielka, who might well

have been in South Africa anyway but for the serious knee injury

that kept him out for 10 months, could fill a spot along with

Michael Dawson of Tottenham. The other area where England are down

on manpower is goalkeeper. James’ move to the Championship and

Bristol City effectively ended his international career and there

must be serious question marks over Robert Green ever being asked

to play for his country again. It means that a battle is now

expected between Joe Hart and Ben Foster, who was preferred to the

Manchester City keeper for matches against Belarus and Brazil last

term, to become Capello’s first-choice.