Shawcross named in England squad

BY foxsports • February 27, 2010

In a squad for the clash at Wembley on Wednesday notable for the inclusions of Theo Walcott and Stewart Downing, and the exclusion of Joe Cole, Shawcross' name stands out. That Fabio Capello made reference on Friday of his intention to select a rookie central defender to tackle the African Nations Cup winners only made the timing of Shawcross' lunge at Aaron Ramsey as awful as the challenge itself. Capello and trusted assistant Franco Baldini even delayed the announcement of their squad by 40 minutes to have one last discussion about Shawcross' presence given the severity of the injury Ramsey is thought to have suffered during Arsenal's win at Stoke. But Shawcross' obvious remorse over the incident, for which he was justifiably sent off, weighed heavily in the 22-year-old's favour and Capello opted to stick with his original intention to pick the Chester-born youngster. Shawcross would surely not have wanted to be picked to represent the Three Lions with such an obvious cloud hanging over him. However, the selection is merited given the injuries that have ruled out Rio Ferdinand and Gary Cahill. Since leaving Manchester United for Stoke, initially on loan, then a permanent transfer, Shawcross has proved himself to be one of the most effective young defenders in the country. He has been a key figure in Stoke establishing themselves in the top flight and Capello - and Tony Pulis for that matter - would no doubt point to the fact Shawcross had never previously been sent off in his admittedly short career, prior to this evening's ill-timed challenge, as evidence it should be regarded as an isolated incident. Indeed, given the obvious distress Shawcross was in the immediate aftermath of the tackle, Capello's first task when his squad meets on Sunday might be to try and buoy the youngster up. England squad for the friendly v Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday March 3: James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham), Hart (Birmingham), Brown (Man Utd), Terry (Chelsea), Upson (West Ham), Lescott (Man City), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton), Warnock (Aston Villa), Milner (Aston Villa), Beckham, Walcott (Arsenal), Lampard (Chelsea), Barry (Man City), Gerrard (Liverpool), Carrick (Man Utd), Wright-Phillips (Man City), Downing (Aston Villa), Heskey (Aston Villa), Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Man Utd), Crouch (Tottenham), C Cole (West Ham).

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