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Bothroyd and Carroll named in England squad

ESPNsoccernet staff
November 13, 2010

Fabio Capello has named an experimental England squad ahead of Wednesday's friendly with France, handing Jay Bothroyd, Andrew Carroll, Chris Smalling and Jordan Henderson their first international call-ups.

Newcastle striker Carroll and Sunderland midfielder Henderson had been heavily tipped for inclusion, but it is something of a shock that Cardiff striker Bothroyd and Manchester United defender Smalling have been selected.

Capello has largely opted to go with youth for the first of two friendlies before England's next competitive game, against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on March 26. And that would mean a return home for Cardiff's Bothroyd. The 28-year-old has scored 15 goals in the Championship this season and not since David Nugent - then of Preston - scored in a 3-0 win over Andorra in Barcelona in March 2007 has a Championship player been capped by England.

However, the mere fact Capello is having to dip into English football's second tier - even to a club that seems bound for the Premier League - is an indication of how weak his depth of strikers is once injuries take hold. The Italian finds himself without Wayne Rooney, Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe and Bobby Zamora for the visit of France.

Carroll would certainly appear to be a better bet for the future and Capello saw the burly Newcastle man score the winner at Arsenal last weekend.

"It would be a very proud moment for this football club," said Magpies boss Chris Hughton when asked about the 21-year-old's impending selection. "For a young man himself, to have the opportunity to represent his country, particularly with the amount of quality strikers there are around, then it would be a very proud day for him and the club."

Given Capello's preference to lead the attacking line with a bigger striker, Carroll has a decent chance of starting on Wednesday, where he would probably be supported by either Gabriel Agbonlahor or Steven Gerrard.

There was also joy in another part of the north-east as the progress Henderson has made with Sunderland was recognised. It would appear Capello has received positive reports from Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce about both Henderson and Smalling, who has enjoyed an impressive first few months at Old Trafford, even if being introduced as a substitute striker at Aston Villa on Saturday must have been a first.

On the day he publicly complained about the lack of recognition he has received from Capello, Micah Richards now gets a chance to add to the 12 caps he won under Steve McClaren, even though he has lost his first-team place at Manchester City.

England squad
Ben Foster, Robert Green, Joe Hart; Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Kieran Gibbs, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Chris Smalling, John Terry; Gareth Barry, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Adam Johnson, James Milner, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jay Bothroyd, Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch

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