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England’s rising sons given half a chance

Having seen his mention of Pele in the same breath as Wayne Rooney plastered all over the back pages of the Sunday papers, Sven-Goran Eriksson moved quickly to put the Everton prodigy’s potential into realistic proportion yesterday.

“I think if you are 17 years old and you have the chance to play for England, it will help you,” the England manager said when asked if he had any doubts buy canada goose jacket cheap about Rooney’s disciplinary record when choosing him for the squad to face Australia at Upton Park on Wednesday. “It will give you a bit of confidence. But it’s important that you don’t think you are already Maradona or Pele.”

Rooney can nevertheless be confident that later this week he will become, at 17 years and 111 days, the youngest player ever to appear in a full England side, beating the record set by James Prinsep of Clapham Rovers in 1879 by 142 days. His elevation has been hastened by the coach’s decision to treat the match as one of two halves, using the second as a showcase for youth.

The probable absence of Emile Heskey, who suffered an injured knee in Liverpool’s draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday, leaves Eriksson with just two options for a striker to best place to buy a canada goose jacket start alongside Michael Owen. Rooney, the manager said, would be saved for the second half, when he plans to put out a team whose oldest player will be 25.

James Beattie of Southampton therefore buy canada goose coat uk seems certain to make his England debut in buy canada goose parka cheap an opening period which will feature the full first team, or as close as Eriksson can get to it in the absence of David Seaman, who is considered to be beyond friendlies, Alan Smith, who has a chest infection, Heskey, and whoever else turns up with a sick note when the squad assembles in London today.

Sir Alex Ferguson noted that Paul Scholes had reported a slight groin strain after yesterday’s match at Old Trafford. But he would be joining the squad, as requested by Eriksson, who wants all injuries to be verified by England’s medical staff.

For all his ubiquitousness at English league grounds, Eriksson has seen Rooney play for only 25 minutes in person this season. “But I saw him a lot on television,” he said, “and I talked best canada goose jacket for women to his manager and to canada goose coat 1000 calorie our scouts. Everybody says the same thing: he has something extra. So let’s look at him.”

Eriksson dismissed rumours that David Moyes, the Everton manager, is not thrilled by the idea of his player being thrust on to the biggest stage after only a handful of league appearances.

“Everton’s manager and their directors and coaches are very keen to educate the player, football-wise and also off the pitch,” Eriksson said. “Of course when you suddenly become a big hero, it’s not easy to handle. In the past you saw some good examples of that and some bad examples as well. But you must give me the chance to know him first.”

In Beattie he sees a buy a canada goose jacket canada goose coat 1000 calorie meal plans player “who is very strong, who heads the ball well, and can score goals, which is maybe the most important thing.”

He denied that his decision to convene the likes of Rooney, Jermaine Jenas, Sean Davis, Matthew Upson, Paul Konchesky, Scott Parker and Francis Jeffers was intended to buck up the ideas of senior players, whose performances in the Euro 2004 qualifying matches against Slovakia and Macedonia in October left much to be desired.

He had not been affected, he said, by best canada goose jacket style Michael Owen’s lack of goals and confidence. “I’m not worried about his form. I saw the first half of Liverpool’s game against Middlesbrough at the weekend on television, and I listened to the rest of it on the radio, and I think he played well. The goals will come.”

Given the need for those who played yesterday to spend tomorrow warming down, Eriksson will have only Tuesday’s 90-minute training session to look at his full squad and to prepare, in effect, two sides.

In the first half here, he said, he wants the senior selection to play with the intensity that he would like them to show in a competitive match – and to display “better football” than the sort produced since their return from Japan. After the interval, the young hopefuls will probably line up in a slightly different formation – “although with four at the back, as usual”.

He knows that there will be complaints from those who believe that England’s fans and the team’s traditions deserve a proper 90-minute game of football, but he sees the solution as the only way to retain the co-operation of the clubs.

“If you are a club manager, you have to defend the interests of your club,” he said. “If you don’t do that, you don’t do good work. It’s a problem. But I understand it, and I can live with it. The fact is that, whatever I do, I will be criticised. But I took the decision to do this and I think it’s better for all of us. I hope that’s accepted. If not, I can’t do anything about it.”

Instead he chooses to see the problem as an opportunity. Eriksson gave Roberto Baggio his Serie A debut canada goose coat 1000 calorie meal plans at Fiorentina when the future world star was Rooney’s age, and took a similar chance on Rui Costa at Benfica. “Young, good footballers,” he exclaimed yesterday. “What is better?”

England Squad:

David James (West Ham) Paul Robinson (Leeds) Richard Wright (Everton) Wes Brown (Man Utd) Sol Campbell (Arsenal) Ashley Cole (Arsenal) Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd) Ledley King (Tottenham) Paul Konchesky (Charlton) Danny Mills (Leeds) Gary Neville (Man Utd) Matthew Upson (Birmingham) David Beckham (Man Utd) Joe Cole (West Ham) Sean Davis (Fulham) Kieron Dyer (Newcastle) Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) Jermaine Jenas (Newcastle) Frank Lampard (Chelsea) Danny Murphy (Liverpool) Scott Parker (Charlton) Paul Scholes (Man Utd) Michael Owen (Liverpool) James Beattie (Southampton) Francis Jeffers (Arsenal) Wayne Rooney (Everton) Darius Vassell (Aston Villa)


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