Gary Neville would be entitled to feel frustrated at being left out of Fabio Capello’s England squad, given the great experience he has as well as the fact he was United’s first choice right-back this season when fit. The media were also surprised to see his name missing, particularly given that Jamie Carragher is the only back up England have at right-back for Glen Johnson.
“I would not say I am overly disappointed,” Neville said. “I did think there was maybe a chance I could get in, but I was under no illusions how tough it would be after not being named in the squad for a year. I am slightly surprised there is only one right-back in the squad, but I am probably more surprised Wes Brown isn’t in the 30.”
Still, he’s not the only English United player not going to South Africa, after Sir Alex Ferguson told Capello that Hargreaves had to be removed from the squad and Paul Scholes rejected yet another call-up to come out of International retirement.
Neville today claimed that asking Scholes, who turns 36-years-old this year, to play in the World Cup stinks of desperation. Our captain argues that he is the best English midfielder but you have to wonder why Capello doesn’t believe he has any better options than a player who hasn’t played International football since June 2004.
“I am not surprised Capello tried to get him out of retirement,” he continued. “If there is one player I would try to pull out of retirement it is Paul Scholes. Capello maybe got a bit desperate at the last minute and wanted Scholes, who is probably still the best midfielder in England, but Paul decided to stick to his guns. Capello spoke to him but Scholes retired a good few years ago from international football and he is not the type to go back on that.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.