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Rediff.com  » Sports » Beckham left out of England squad

Beckham left out of England squad

November 16, 2008 18:55 IST

England manager Fabio Capello has given a surprise call-up to Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne for Wednesday's friendly in Germany and left out former captain David Beckham.

As well as Mancienne, who is on loan with Championship (second division) leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, Capello also named Aston Villa pair Curtis Davies and Gabriel Agbonlahor in his 23-man squad on Saturday.

Darren Bent was another player recalled. The striker, who has three caps, has been rejuvenated this season at Tottenham Hotspur, banging in 11 goals in all competitions.

Mancienne, who has performed well for England's under-21s but has never started a Premier League game, acknowledged the call-up had been unexpected.

"It's a great honour," the 20-year-old told his on-loan club's website. "I was expecting to join up with the under-21s and my head was focused on that but this is obviously great news.

"It's a great game to be picked for and just to be in and around the squad will be superb."

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham is short of match practice following the end of the Major League Soccer season although he is due to join AC Milan on loan in January.

"This is my system. If you are fit and you are playing, it's possible to be in the squad," Capello was quoted as saying in Sunday's British newspapers.

"He played his last game three weeks ago. If he had played in the [MLS] playoffs, it would have been OK."

The 33-year-old Beckham has 107 caps and needs two more to beat Bobby Moore's England record for an outfield player.

Regarding Bent, Capello told reporters: "We have followed him and he's scoring a lot of goals. He is a good player. He is fast, has good movement with the ball and finds space."

Manchester United duo Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were not included after missing the 5-0 rout of Stoke City on Saturday through injury.

Michael Owen, who has notched 40 goals in 89 appearances for his country, scored for Newcastle United on Saturday but was again omitted by Capello. His last cap came against France in March.

Captain John Terry was included but faces a scan on his foot on Sunday after limping out of Chelsea's 3-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), John Terry (Chelsea), Curtis Davies (Aston Villa), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Michael Mancienne (Chelsea/Wolverhampton Wanderers), Micah Richards (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth), Darren Bent (Tottenham Hotspur), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

Source:
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