Tuesday 21 November 2017

Davies vows to make England mark

Jamie Holland

Kevin Davies has vowed to shrug off the nerves and give it his best shot after being handed a surprise England call-up by Fabio Capello.

Only days after claiming he had given up on ever representing his country, the 33-year-old last night answered Capello's SOS for next Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley.

With Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora and Gabriel Agbonlahor all ruled out through injury, and Carlton Cole losing his regular place at West Ham, Davies has profited from Andy Carroll's loss of form at Newcastle.

The decision rather flies in the face of Capello's post-World Cup statement to look to the future, and must also give hope to 35-year-old David Beckham, who was dismissed on the basis that he is too old.

Davies might not be threatening Leslie Compton, England's oldest post-War debutant, who was 38 when he made his bow against Wales in 1950, or Alec Morten, who was in his 40s when he faced Scotland in 1873, but it would still be a remarkable story.

"I just have to go along and enjoy the experience of being involved with the international team and if I get the chance to play I will do my best to impress," he said.

The presence of Wayne Rooney in the squad is hardly a shock given the open invitation extended to Capello to pick the Manchester United striker by Alex Ferguson. Like Rooney, Peter Crouch is one of 14 men Capello selected for his World Cup squad to retain their places, while Sunderland's Darren Bent is now beginning to get the attention his club boss Steve Bruce has always felt he deserved.

West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green will be happy to be chosen, even if he has slipped to No 3 in the pecking order.

Meanwhile, Fernando Torres has been left out of Spain's squad for their qualifiers against Lithuania and Scotland because of the groin injury that forced him to limp out of Liverpool's defeat by Blackpool.

Coach Vicente del Bosque has called up Valencia striker Aritz Aduriz to replace Torres.

Irish Independent

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