Date: 13th August 2006 at 12:11am
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The latest England squad, the first selected by new England Coach Steve McLaren saw David James and Sol Campbell axed from the squad that went to Germany for the World Cup Finals. Has time been called on Campbell and James` International careers, as it would appear it has David Beckham`s?

I think it is far too early to speak of theories that players at “smaller” clubs don`t get a look in with England as has often happened in the past as McLaren would have had some idea of his squad long before they arrived at Fratton Park, so this can`t be the case with these two.

Personally I felt that Campbell`s International career would end after Germany regardless as to where he played in the future as we have MANY options in central defence. James on the other hand with limited options in the goalkeeping department, only Norwich`s Robert Green, who is currently injured, would be another serious alternative to James and what has been selected.

Liverpool`s injury prone Chris Kirkland and Manchester United rookie Ben Foster have been selected in this squad, but both have no International experience so I would go with Harry Redknapp and think that one inexperience player would have been enough,

‘Steve obviously wants to prove a point by bringing in younger players. But I don’t see the sense in dropping David James,’ Redknapp told Sky Sports News.

Both are currently out on season long loans, Kirkland to Wigan and Foster again back at Watford, so after voicing his concerns on the fact that two third choice ‘keepers have had to be sent out on loan to play first team football Redknapp would finish by saying,

‘God help us if Paul Robinson gets injured.’

It will be down to Campbell and James to force their way back into the set-up, but the snub at the start of the McLaren era would suggest it will be hard.

With Glen Johnson playing regular football and having a good season, which we would expect on both counts he would feel he would have a very good chance of forcing his way back into the squad. If Gary O`Neil keeps up his good form, if not improving upon it a man who wanted to sign him in the past would be looking to reward him wouldn`t he?

If neither Johnson nor O`Neil can force their way into contention, or players from other “smaller” clubs keep being overlooked then we can all talk of another coach who only picks players from the “big clubs.” Yes I know Kirkland is at Wigan, and Foster at Watford, neither of whom will be considered giants of the game, but these are at the moment only loan deals.