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2010 FIFA World Cup: England Must Learn From Farcical Squad Announcement

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2010 FIFA World Cup: England Must Learn From Farcical Squad Announcement
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Fabio Capello named his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa this afternoon.

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was a surprise omission after starting both of the recent warm-up friendly matches and looked to have had the backing of Capello.

The other players who missed out were: Leighton Baines, Michael Dawson, TomHuddlestone, Scott Parker, Adam Johnson, and Darren Bent.

It could be argued that none of these were a real surprise, the way in which the announcement of the squad arose was ludicrous and embarrassing for England.

Hours before any official announcement from the FA, journalists were reporting rumours of who the cut players would be through social networking site Twitter and the Like.

They seemingly knew before the FA's official website, and England fans were treated to being drip-fed news through Sky Sports News and BBC Sport's live tracker.

England woke to news of Capello deciding to take Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock as back-up left back over Leighton Baines of Everton.

Warnock did not play a single minute of England's friendly preparations but did enough to convince Capello of his worth. However, it was unlikely either would play at the finals unless Ashley Cole was injured.

Gareth Barry was also a doubt this morning but passed a fitness test and makes the final squad.

Then various journalists stated Walcott had been dropped in favour of Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Philips.

Walcott has not been in great form for Arsenal or England this season and has struggled with injury but so has Wright-Philips who had been kept out of Manchester City's starting line-up by Adam Johnson, who also failed to make the final 23.

Sky Sports also partook on the act by announcing Darren Bent had been told he had not made the final squad.

An official announcement from the FA was not made until 1600 BST, so a conclusion to the farce was some way off.

Reports suggested the delay in an official announcement was because Capello could not contact one of the seven players left out.

Capello had previously stated no official announcement would be made until he had personally contacted each player.

An easier, and less embarrassing, way to deal with the whole situation would have been to set the time an announcement would be made from the start or to have told the squad together as a group.

Capello said after the Japan game he knew who would be in his final 23-man squad, and knew 20 after the Mexico match, so why keep everyone guessing for so long?

I would have chosen the route taken by Brazil coach Dunga.

He named a 23-man squad with seven reserve players on stand-by when other nations were announcing their provisional squads. This would have avoided the need to reduce a 30-man squad to 23.

Michael Dawson and Scott Parker did not play a single minute of either friendly match. Could they have expected to make the final squad? Did Capello even consider them? 

Despite all the farcical rumours, the squad is a strong and balanced one and Capello's judgement must be trusted.

Michael Dawson and Darren Bent, who scored 24 Premier League goals, will be disappointed to have missed out, especially after Capello said he would pick his squad based on form.

England will take a talented group of players, with a wealth of international experience, to South Africa. But I for one hope the farce that was June 1 2010 is not repeated in four years time.

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England (National Football)

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