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Drogba turning back the clock

Chelsea 20 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 31, 2008

Beckham to miss out on Capello's first squad

Fabio Capello insists he has not closed the door on David Beckham after the 99-cap midfielder was left out of the England manager's first squad.

Capello's 30-man provisional squad to face Switzerland next Wednesday was notable more by Beckham's absence rather than the naming of Aston Villa's striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and defender Curtis Davies in a senior England set-up for the first time.

Beckham was informed of the decision in a telephone call from Capello, but was reassured it was not a case of being dropped in the way that Steve McClaren initially dispensed of his services. The 32-year-old was desperately disappointed but still strongly believes he can pass the 100-cap mark.

A source close to the player told PA Sport: 'He remains very hopeful. This was definitely not a 'McClaren Moment'.'

That was confirmed by Capello himself, who said: 'I know there has been a lot of discussion about David Beckham. The reason that David is not in the squad is because he has not had any real match practice since playing in November.

'When I spoke with David on the phone yesterday I advised him that he is still part of my plans and once he is playing regularly in America we will look closely at him again.'

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce, who has been asked by Capello to work as part of his coaching team, said he was sure Beckham would fight for his 100th cap.

Pearce said: 'The bottom line is he's picked a squad that doesn't involve one individual. That individual has to fight tooth and nail to get back in that squad.

'I'm sure David has enough about him - he's shown it in the past - that he'll fight to try to win that next cap, no matter what number it is.

'He's been a fantastic servant to this country and to achieve 99 caps is fantastic. It's probably not wise to get caught up in the emotion of 100 caps - for him it's a fantastic milestone if he achieves it.

'The one thing he will do is roll his sleeves up and do everything in his power to get back in the England squad and get back on the pitch again.'