Brown calls end to England career

Brown visited England’s team hotel in Watford on Sunday night and

told manager Fabio Capello he no longer wishes to be involved

despite his call-up for Wednesday’s friendly. “Wes Brown has this

evening announced his retirement from international football,” read

a statement from the FA. “He came to the England team hotel this

evening to meet with and tell Fabio Capello in person.” The news

brings to an end a 23-cap career which began against Hungary in

1999. Injury continually prevented Brown from showing his best form

for his country, although he was part of the 2002 World Cup squad

in Japan and South Korea, but did not actually play a game. The

30-year-old started in Capello’s first two games in charge against

Switzerland and France, but injury took hold once more before the

Italian masterminded England’s passage to this summer’s Finals in

South Africa. More problems meant Brown did not figure in Capello’s

30-man provisional squad or the final 23, the right-back role going

instead to Glen Johnson, with Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher

controversially called up as back up. After not being involved in

today’s Community Shield victory over Chelsea, presumably Brown

felt there was little merit in pursuing an international career

while his place at Manchester United is so fragile and therefore

took the option he felt was best. Coming on the same day Paul

Robinson also decided to concentrate on club matters at Blackburn,

it leaves Capello looking slightly red faced. The Italian is yet to

decide whether to call up replacements for either man, with a clear

lack of communication evident with the fringe men he did pick.

Youngsters Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs do represent a statement

about England’s future but Capello will need to be sure in his own

mind he has enough experience to carry England towards Euro 2012

qualification and the loss of both Brown and Robinson is a setback

in that regard.