These are the 23 Capello will take

Thirty bags are packed and the plane is warming up on the runway.

However, there is only room for 23 on Capello Airways. Some passports were stamped against Mexico on Monday, while others will have to hang around immigration for another few days.

June 1 is the cut-off date for England's World Cup hopefuls to confirm their trip to South Africa.


With only three 'keepers nominated in the provisional squad, they’re all going on safari, barring an injury in the next five days.

Robert Green: A couple of superb saves will not have harmed his chances of landing the number one jersey.

David James: I think it's David James' jersey to lose.

Joe Hart: Hart won't see any playing time, but the experience of going to the World Cup will prove invaluable.


Defensively, England does not look as strong as they usually do and I think Capello will need cover for personnel that show a lack of form.

Ashley Cole: A well-rested Ashley Cole will be traveling solo.

John Terry: There is no way JT gets left behind, despite his philandering.

Rio Ferdinand: Rio will be up in the cockpit.

Glen Johnson: Attacking fullbacks who can't defend are a liability at the World Cup, but unfortunately Johnson is the best we've got. Saddle up Glen and finish like that against the Americans.

Ledley King: There is such a big 'if' surrounding King. Will his knees hold up? If he can persuade the doctors that he's up for it, he'll make the plane.

Jamie Carragher: The surprise call-up to the provisional squad will be the surprise inclusion in the final party. I'm not convinced it's deserved but there can be no doubting his commitment if selected.

Michael Dawson: Central defenders should come as a pair, which in theory should send Dawson to the Cup with King. He's on the plane, unless he misplaces his ticket.

Staying home

Leighton Baines: I don't think he did enough against the Tri-color to rack up the frequent flier milage.

Mathew Upson: A poor domestic season and a few rickety performances for the national team will see Upson hanging out in East London for the summer.

Stephen Warnock: The adaptability and versatility of other defenders causes Warnock to be left behind.


Pace and experience means the England midfield is possibly one of the best in South Africa.

Gareth Barry: If Barry passes the biggest fitness test of his life, he goes.

Frank Lampard: The prayer on the plane is that Lampard brings his Chelsea form to the fields of South Africa.

Steven Gerrard: His reputation precedes him. However, that is what he's living on right now. He'll make the plane and start, but for how long?

Adam Johnson: There is generally one massive surprise and I just feel that Johnson is going to be that X-factor that comes from nowhere.

Tom Huddlestone: The ability to maintain possession and pick out a pass will enable Huddlestone to live the dream.

James Milner: Milner's versatility makes him guaranteed for a window seat.

Theo Walcott: Pace, pace and more pace. Capello is willing to overlook the final product from Walcott in return for what may be.

Aaron Lennon: See Theo Walcott.

Shaun Wright-Phillips: See Theo Walcott.

Staying home

Scott Parker: Parker was selected strictly as cover and probably knew himself that going to Africa was a long shot.

Michael Carrick: A poor season with Manchester United and a poor display with England. Unpack your bags son, you’re staying at home.

Joe Cole: To think that the most naturally gifted English player in the last ten years won't make the team is shocking. It's too bad Cole plays his football for an Italian who prehaps doesn't appreciate his undoubted talents. Cole will be left at home on standby.


Four from five means that Capello has to make a brutal decision.

Peter Crouch: Crouch will be going business class — he needs the legroom. I'd love to see him score against one of the big boys, though, because he seemingly only feasts on the minnows.

Wayne Rooney: The only way Rooney misses the plane is if he oversleeps.

Jermain Defoe: Although Defoe flatters to deceive in an England shirt, his partnership and understanding of playing with Crouch gets him a buddy pass.

Emile Heskey: Despite not being able to score, Heskey is well liked by Captain Capello.

Staying home

Darren Bent: Bent is probably the most natural scorer of the five but he doesn't have the international experience, which means he misses out.

It's always tough on the players that miss out but I believe that the 23 players selected represent the best chance of bringing home the World Cup for the first time in 44 years.

Nick Webster is a senior writer for covering the Barclay's Premier League and the English national team.