While Manchester United defender Wes Brown admits to being disappointed on missing out on Fabio Capello’s provisional 30 man England World Cup squad, team mate Gary Neville was under no illusions of how tough it would be after not being part of the squad for a year.
Despite United boss Sir Alex Ferguson pushing for Neville’s international recall, Capello chose to ignore him, opting instead for Liverpool’s Glen Johnson as the only specialist right back.
Neville reckons Capello has blundered by leaving his squad short of right full backs and thinks that he made a mistake by not naming team mate Brown in the squad saying “I’m slightly surprised there is only one right back in the entire squad but I’m probably more surprised that Wes Brown isn’t in the squad”
The 30 year old Brown defender has recovered from a broken foot but the fact that he hardly played towards the end of the season seems to be the obvious reason why Capello chose to omit him. “I was disappointed to be left out, the World Cup is the pinnacle of any footballer’s career and as a kid you always dream about pulling on the England shirt in the finals” he said “but I have not played any football for the past few months. I’ll definitely be watching and keeping my fingers crossed for the team. I think the squad is really strong and we have a really good chance of having a successful tournament.”
Neville is of the opinion that Capello must have been “desperate” to try to persuade United team mate Paul Scholes to come out of international retirement. He added “Capello spoke to Paul but he retired a few years ago and he’s not the type to go back on that. I’m not surprised Capello tried to get him out of retirement because if there is one player I would try to bring back it is Scholes. Capello maybe got a bit desperate at the last minute and wanted Scholes because he is still probably the country’s best midfielder but Scholesey stuck to his guns”
Veteran Neville played in 17 league games this season as United finished a point behind winners Chelsea. The Londoners won the title on the final day of the season and turned it into a double with FA Cup glory at the weekend. But Neville played down their achievements saying “I don’t think that any team had an exceptional season. Chelsea will be happy they won the league but they’ll probably be thinking they could have won it with a month to spare had they performed like they have in previous seasons.
Of course they deserve congratulations but all the top teams will think they could have done better. Chelsea won the league despite losing six games whereas in previous seasons teams have won losing only one or two games. So it’s been a strange season” What Chelsea did achieve however, was a record goals total of 103 while doing the league double over United who had won the previous three titles.
Neville admitted United were below par and did not deserve to take the title. He said “Looking back over the season it’s clear we made too many mistakes. We lost seven matches and drew games we perhaps shouldn’t have and that isn’t good enough. OK there were certainly things that went against us. Pre Christmas injuries in defence essentially cost us two defeats against Aston Villa and Fulham.
You could also look at the second goal we conceded against Chelsea at Old Trafford and possibly the goal we conceded against them at Stamford Bridge and say they should have been disallowed. But, at the end of the day, when you lose seven matches you have no one to blame but yourself”
The omission of both players from England’s World Cup Squad so soon after the Championship loss to Chelsea did not cap off a good season for either but at least they will have all summer to reflect on what Manchester United need to do in order to regain the title in what could be Neville’s final season.
Should Fabio Capello have taken another right back to the World Cup?