City stars in mix to lift England bid
- 13 June 2010 10:45
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
Fabio Capello turned to Shaun Wright-Phillips in a bid to spark England's lacklustre start to their World Cup campaign in an unsatisfactory 1-1 draw with the USA in Rustenburg.
And the frustrated national coach may be looking to one of SWP's team-mates against Algeria on Friday after Robert Green's goalkeeping howler gave Capello a serious decision to make.
The Italian opted to go Green despite Blues keeperJoe Hart's brilliant form last season on loan at Birmingham but will now need to reconsider for the crucial second Group C match.
Wright-Phillips replaced the out-of-sorts James Milner inside half an hour against the USA, and though he pepped up England the game hinged on Green's fumble to allow a soft equaliser.
Capello said: "We have time to decide. Green played very well in the last game at Wembley. He made one mistake (against USA) but in the second half made a good save. This is the problem of the keeper."
Gareth Barry, one of Capello's shoo-in regulars, looks certain to be restored to England's midfield on Friday after the coach decided not to risk him following his recovery from ankle ligament damage.
But Capello's pressing problem will be to decide between experienced former City favourite David James and Hart, voted the Premier League's top goalkeeper by his fellow players.
Wright-Phillips, meanwhile, did his claims to a starting place no harm on Saturday night, and England's inability to add to Steven Gerrard's early opener was no reflection on his guile.