Capello leaves Owen in wilderness
Striker remains out of the frame as England name squad for qualifiers.
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2008 20:15 GMT

Hard to impress with Newcastle's current form [GALLO/GETTY]
Michael Owen was overlooked again when England coach Fabio Capello named his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus.

The 28-year-old Newcastle United striker has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England but has still not convinced Capello about his fitness this season despite playing in his club's last six games.

His last cap came against France in March.

Portsmouth forward Peter Crouch and Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips return to the squad for the Group Six fixtures after good form for their clubs.

Crouch is one of five strikers in the squad named on Sunday, the others
being Portsmouth team mate Jermain Defoe, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey of Wigan Athletic and Arsenal's Theo Walcott.

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is ruled out with a foot injury after scoring for his club on Sunday while Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson is also missing because of a calf strain.

England, who top the group after away wins against Andorra and Croatia, face Kazakhstan at Wembley on Saturday before facing Belarus in Minsk the following Wednesday.

Walcott, who scored a hat-trick in last month's 4-1 victory over Croatia, had earned praise from his national boss before being selected on Sunday.

Walcott form

Walcott is on form for club and country [GALLO/GETTY]
"I think when you find young players like this, good players, interesting players at the top level he has to play with the seniors," Capello said of the Arsenal winger.

"Age is not important.

"What's important is the quality, the confidence."

"It's a stupid example but (Diego) Maradona played when he was 16, because he was ready.

"Theo is ready for sure."

Beckham relegated

Walcott's form is bad news for David Beckham who may spend the rest of his England career on the bench as deputy to the teenager.

Capello is expected to recall Liverpool's Steven Gerrard after he missed the Croatia game because of injury and will not rule out changing a winning side to accommodate him.

"I have a new idea for the next game and you will have to wait," he said.


Goalkeepers: David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United), Scott Carson (West Bromwich Albion)

Defenders: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Everton), Matthew Upson (West Ham United)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham Hotspur), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), David Beckham (LA Galaxy)

Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jermaine Defoe (Portsmouth), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Emile Heskey (Wigan Athletic), Peter Crouch (Portsmouth)



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