Kevin Davies: Is He Good Enough For England?
This week's surprise saw Bolton's Kevin Davies called into England's squad for next week's Euro 2012 Championship Qualifier versus Montenegro at Wembley.
The selection is seen as somewhat of a left-field selection for many people as well has Davies, who only a fortnight ago suggested that he had more chance of being selected by Jamaica than England.
But before people get carried away, Davies has only been selected by Capello due to the fact Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora, and Gabriel Agbonlahor are injured, Carlton Cole is out of form, Andy Carroll has been left out and that Emile Heskey snubbed a call to come out of International Retirement last week.
Why Capello would even consider recalling Heskey in the first place, with the likes of Darren Bent and Peter Crouch playing well this season is a whole other subject to talk about. England have to be more progressive as a team and as nice a guy as Emile is, he is not the answer for the team despite his eye-turning goal exploits over the last fortnight.
Defoe of course would have been a certainty to start against Montenegro based on his form for England in the last 18 months, and the likes of Zamora and Agbonlahor would probably have either have missed out completely or got in as a fifth striker had Capello wished to select them.
Rising striker Carroll though has been left out perhaps because he's not ready yet. It should be noted though that the forward has been carrying a slight injury recently explaining his failure to start for Newcastle in their defeat at Eastlands at the weekend. Still his omission from the squad was a surprise to most fans.
West Ham's Cole just seems short on confidence and anything but an England player, which is a shame as two years ago he looked to have finally come of age.
Sadly the last thing you want in a squad at any level is a player who does not believe in himself, which is something that has been labelled at Cole this year.
Davies on the other hand has always believed in himself and has recovered from a disastrous £7.5m move to Blackburn in 1998 from Southampton.
At the time Davies was a talent and had caught the eye in 1997 playing for Chesterfield in their march to the FA Cup Semifinals.
Southampton signed him in the summer that year and he had a good first year in the Premiership, only for the move to Ewood Park not to work out. Perhaps it was the price tag and the added pressure that it brought, but the sacking of Roy Hodgson early into the season hurt Davies most, and he looked completely lost for Blackburn.
Davies moved back to Southampton within a year of leaving them and it wasn't until Sam Allardyce signed him for Bolton in 2003, that the majority of football fans took note of him.
At Bolton he has been a success with his old-fashioned centre-forward style and hard-work getting praise from Allardyce and current manager Owen Coyle.
He must have impressed Capello with his performance against Manchester United the Sunday before last where along with his strike partner Johan Elmander, Davies ran Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans ragged.
Davies might not be the prettiest forward but he always gives 100 percent, which is one of the reasons why he also happens to have committed the most fouls (792 of them) in Premiership history.
It is nice to see a Journey-man player getting the chance to fulfill his dream of playing for his country. After all it shows you anyone can get a chance to play for their country, which is a good sign for all players.
Surely though it would have been better for Capello to call Newcastle United's young hungry striker Carroll providing the forward is fit into the squad, to see what he could do for the team.
After all isn't that why Arsenal's talented duo Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were called up for the Hungary match in August, so Capello could see what they were like playing for the senior team.
Carroll is a name to watch this year and having scored 4 goals already this season, including a fine hat trick against Aston Villa should be the next one in line to be in England squads, if those in front are injured.
Perhaps though we're all thinking a little bit ahead of ourselves as the chances are that had Carroll been selected, that with Bent, Crouch, and Rooney involved, the forward would have been warming the bench next Tuesday.
Of course now that's what Davies will likely be doing, which all things considered is a real achievement in itself after what happened to the Bolton forward earlier in his career.
At 21, Carroll can only get better as he grows into a top-flight footballer and becomes more instrumental in his overall play. As well as looking up to his hero Alan Shearer in playing-terms, perhaps he should also look up to Davies who off the pitch is the exemplary professional.
Over the last 18 months Carroll has had a few disciplinary issues and it is something that both club and country will be worrying about, as the last thing they will want is to see the young striker lose focus and direction. Carroll needs to concentrate on football solely as I think he has great potential.
Perhaps England are just waiting to see how he develops in the Premiership and U21 side over the next year before thrusting him into the limelight. His time though will come, as he has talent and all the credentials to be involved in the England set up for the best part of his career.