Ashley asked to play in Amsterdam

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:53

Ashley asked to play in Amsterdam

With Gerrard not making the flight after suffering a slight groin injury in training on Monday, coach Fabio Capello has decided Young should fill the left-sided midfield berth.
The Aston Villa man’s pace could present a major problem to a Dutch side that has already qualified for next summer’s World Cup.
It will be Young’s sixth cap and his fifth under Fabio Capello, but this will be his first ever international start.
“It will be a good test for him,” said Capello.
Young has been picked since becoming the only negative point from an otherwise memorable evening in Berlin. But since Andorra provided the opposition in a six-goal rout in June, that doesn’t really count.
“I cannot clone Stevie Gerrard,” observed Capello.
“Every player has a different style and Ashley Young is really important because he is one of the English players who can dribble and take people on one-on-one.
“He has only played twice for me. The first time it was so-so. The second he played very well.
“Now he needs the confidence to perform against one of the best national sides in the world.”
As Capello seems to have mastered the art of generating the most from his players, confidence is the one thing Young should not be lacking as England face the only European side to have already qualified for next summer’s World Cup.
Not that such an impressive performance allows them to be rated alongside Euro 2008 winners Spain, the team Capello still regards as number one in the world despite their untimely Confederations Cup exit at the hands of the USA.
Still, Oranje represent a significant test for an England side whose only defeats under their impressive manager have come away from Wembley, against France and Spain.
“Holland do not have the same quality as Spain but they have had some really good results, so it is a really important test,” said Capello.
“It gives us an opportunity to understand what we will have to do if we play against a team with the same style in South Africa.”
It was just about the only time Capello mentioned the destination of next year’s World Cup without adding “first we have to qualify”, refusing to take a place among the final 32 for granted even though one win from the final three Group Six games, one of which is against Belarus at home, will ease England through.
The exit of Theo Walcott from training having played no meaningful part suggests he will not play in a match that takes place before the first round of Premier League fixtures and less than a week in advance of Arsenal’s Champions League showdown with Celtic at Parkhead.
For Capello, Walcott’s likely absence will not present a problem, just as he is not concerned about the transfer speculation swirling around Joleon Lescott, who has learned an official request to leave Everton has been rejected.
“I remember speaking with Gareth Barry before an England game when a similar thing happened and he played well,” recalled Capello.
“I hope players like Lescott and Matthew Upson are not distracted either.”
Capello wants to assess the contribution of Michael Owen to Manchester United’s early season form before deciding whether to recall England’s fourth highest goalscorer but at this stage, it would seem his major cause for concern is the goalkeeping department.
Robbed of David James because of a knee injury, Capello lost Ben Foster as well on Tuesday after he pulled out with a similar problem.
Foster had been earmarked for an appearance against the Dutch, just as he had been due to face Kazakhstan and Andorra in June only to undergo a thumb operation instead.
As Foster hardly produced the most accomplished performance in Sunday’s Community Shield, it is perhaps just as well the man Sir Alex Ferguson has identified as England’s likely World Cup number one is missing.
Not that Capello sees it as an issue.
“I am happy with his performances,” said Capello, who will stick with West Ham’s Robert Green instead.
“Foster made some mistakes on Sunday but he played with confidence and that is really important.”

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