For a long time now, the England team has been picked on pretty faces.
The arrival of Fabio Capello has seemingly resulted in a complete change of this, players picked on their form in the Premier League and not their reputation. This is long been how the fans want their England line-up chosen and finally it has become reality.
For his first squad, everyone expected David Beckham to be included, but the LA Galaxy midfielder did not make the provisional squad—let alone the final cut. Capello made his mark immediately and proved that he will only pick players who are fully matched fits and this was proved by his team selection.
Victory over Switzerland was achieved with a lineup of David James, Wes Brown, Matthew Upson, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Gareth Barry, Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley and Wayne Rooney.
Of those players, Bentley, Upson and Jenas would never have had a look in, no real chance of a starting berth under the previous regime.
Capello has recognized the players currently playing at their full potential and dually picked them for his starting XI. Although Upson's selection ahead of Joleon Lescott may have raised a few eyebrows—as the Everton man has been in sensational form so far this season—Upson justified the decision with a steady performance after such a long lay out from the international scene.
Not many pundits expected the omission of Michael Owen from the starting lineup once it was announced that he would be part of the squad, but leaving Owen on the bench and then not choosing to use him as a substitute proves that Capello is more than ready for the task at hand.
Owen is fit, but he is not playing at his best and Capello knows that. Once Owen is back to his scoring best, he will be in the team, because playing 4-5-1 does not suit England. Especially Rooney, who is much better suited to playing behind the striker than playing alone.
So, Owen will have to prove he is good enough for the team before he walks into the lineup.
Capello is a born winner and he knows the game like the back of his hand. Surely, he is the best choice the FA have made for a long time and good things are set to come to the nation finally.
Only time will tell whether he is the right man for the job, but so far he's doing everything right.
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