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Thread: England C team to fly to the States

  1. #1

    England C team to fly to the States

    Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have joined the growing list of absentees for England's post-season mini-tour of the United States.

    Sven-Goran Eriksson acceded to a request from Sir Alex Ferguson for Rooney to be given a breather, rather than taking part in either of the two matches against the United States and Colombia.

    Ferdinand, meanwhile, is being allowed to rest a knee injury following a long domestic season.

    Eriksson's plans for the mini-tour at the end of this month had already been disrupted by the absences of John Terry and Frank Lampard, due to foot injuries requiring minor surgery.

    Newcastle midfielders Kieron Dyer and Nicky Butt have also been troubled by injury problems which look likely to rule them out of the squad to be named on Thursday.

    Michael Owen and David Beckham, as well as Owen Hargreaves, are not expected to join up until after the first game against the United States due to club commitments.

    And there are also doubts as to whether Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard will join the squad in America following the Champions League final with Liverpool on May 25.

    Against that background, however, Eriksson evidently still believes it is wiser to protect Rooney and Ferdinand from any long-term fitness concerns, rather than forcing them to play a further two games for their country.

    The England coach believes the tour can still be of great benefit, with a number of younger players now set to be given a chance to make their mark in the absence of so many established figures.

    An FA spokesman told the organisation's official website: "This tour has always been an opportunity for Sven and the coaching staff to look at some new players a year before the World Cup in Germany.

    "Next season, opportunities will be at a premium for Sven to look at new players - so he feels this is a great platform for some of the Premier League's bright young stars who have yet to become established in the England team.

    "It will be an opportunity to play against non-European opposition the summer before the World Cup which nowadays is few and far between due to larger qualifying groups.

    "Sven believes this is very important as we will expect to play teams from outside Europe in Germany - subject to qualification.

    "The next opportunity for a tour will realistically not be until 2009, due to the large qualification groups for Euro 2008."

    Southampton striker Peter Crouch and Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick are among those who could take advantage of the places up for grabs in Eriksson's squad.

    Crouch has made his mark despite Southampton's battle against relegation and his likely call-up would represent a major boost after being suspended for the final game of the season.

    Carrick, meanwhile, is in pole position to take advantage of the lack of central midfielders available to Eriksson, with Lampard and Gerrard both likely to be missing.

    The England coach must also decide upon a third-choice goalkeeper as his recent number one, Paul Robinson, is among those who have been sidelined.

    With David James and Robert Green already in the reckoning, Liverpool youngster Scott Carson could join the senior squad for the first time after the Champions League final.

  2. #2
    Take the Under 21's and let the senior side have a rest but arrange some friendlies in Europe!

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