May 19 2013 Latest news:
Monday, February 4, 2013
A depleted England squad began their short preparations for Wednesday’s friendly with Brazil at St George’s Park this morning.
With Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe (ankle) and Michael Carrick (hip) both ruled out yesterday and Daniel Sturridge expected to miss out with a thigh injury despite reporting for duty last night, only 11 outfield players trained normally as the remainder who were in action yesterday did a warm-down session instead.
It also meant Jack Butland, a transfer deadline-day signing by Stoke who was loaned straight back to Birmingham, was the only goalkeeper involved as Manchester City’s Joe Hart warmed down.
Tottenham announced after yesterday’s 1-0 win at West Brom that striker Defoe would miss the fixture with an ankle problem sustained at the Hawthorns.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said Defoe would be sent for a scan to determine how bad the damage is.
“He rolled his ankle,” said the Portuguese. “He will have to have a scan to reveal the extent of the injury.
“Hopefully there is not a lot of ligament damage. If there is, he could be out for two to three weeks.”
Among the 11 that did train was Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, who will become only the seventh England player to reach 100 caps at Wembley, following on from Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Billy Wright and Steven Gerrard.
Meanwhile, Phil Jagielka is calling for England to repeat their heroics against Spain when they take on Brazil.
Jagielka helped shut out the World and European champions in November 2011, a result that proved to be one of the highlights of Fabio Capello’s reign.
Now the five-time World Cup winners are on their way, with Jagielka eager to claim another major scalp.
Speaking at a Vauxhall dealership in Warrington during an appearance for the England lead sponsor, Jagielka said: “This is a high stakes game.
“That Spain game wasn’t make or break but because we won and kept a clean sheet it turned into a massive positive.
“It is a similar situation now. Whether I get to play, or someone else, it is about gaining experience from a great test.”
The test is certainly going to be a unique one.
With Ronaldinho and Neymar both named in the first squad of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s second spell as Brazil coach, England will be facing forwards at either end of football’s experience spectrum.
Now 32 and playing back home for Atletico Mineiro, Ronaldinho needs no introduction. However, Neymar, who turns 21 on Tuesday, is something of an enigma.
Other than his admittedly impressive performances for Brazil as they won a silver medal in London Olympics, many observers in England only know of him through word of mouth or clips on YouTube, which tend to accentuate the positive.
“I don’t know a lot about Neymar,” Jagielka said. “We don’t see a lot of footage. He plays in Brazil so it is tough for us.
“But we have video analysis people when we meet up with England and they will have plenty of footage for us to review.
“They will pick out his good points and bad ones. I am sure the good points will be going on for hours.”