Capello re­sists the urge to call up Gibbs too soon

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

FABIO CAPELLO is un­der­stood to have dis­cussed in­clud­ing Kieran Gibbs in the squad for Eng­land’s friendly against Brazil to­day.

The Eng­land man­ager has been im­pressed by the Arse­nal left-back but has de­cided that he needs to gain more ex­pe­ri­ence and would ben­e­fit from re­main­ing with the Un­der-21s, who have an im­por­tant Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship qual­i­fier at Wem­b­ley against Por­tu­gal on the same day.

With Ashley Cole in­jured, Capello chose to in­clude the far more ex­pe­ri­enced Stephen Warnock as one of his two spe­cial­ist left-backs along with Wayne Bridge for to­day’s match in Qatar.

Warnock has also greatly im­pressed this sea­son fol­low­ing his £8 mil­lion move from Black­burn Rovers to As­ton Villa and hopes to add to his sin­gle cap, which was cur­tailed through in­jury, earned last year in the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago.

Gibbs, 20, has made six ap­pear­ances for Arse­nal dur­ing this cam­paign, in­clud­ing three in the Premier League and one in the Cham­pi­ons League, and has been watched by Capello and his scouts who have marked him out as a fu­ture Eng­land in­ter­na­tional.

Capello said of Gibbs: “He’s a re­ally good player, re­ally in­ter­est­ing for the fu­ture of the Eng­land team, but he’s young and now he has to play a re­ally im­por­tant game for the Un­der-21s against Por­tu­gal.”

Al­though he is highly rated it re­mains un­likely, there­fore, that Gibbs will be able to em­u­late an­other Arse­nal player, Theo Wal­cott, and be a sur­prise in­clu­sion in Capello’s squad for the World Cup fi­nals.

That could change if he quickly gains an ex­tended run in the Arse­nal team – Gaël Clichy has been ruled out un­til the end of this month at least with a stress frac­ture to his lower back – or if the form of his ri­vals de­te­ri­o­rates.

Arsène Wenger, un­sur­pris­ingly, pre­dicted that Gibbs could be a sur­prise choice for South Africa, with the player him­self ad­mit­ting that he had thought it pos­si­ble.

“It’s in my mind some­where but we have a long sea­son yet,” Gibbs said.

“Hope­fully if I can get some more good games un­der my belt there might be a chance – but I’m just con­cen­trat­ing on the club and what we can do to win tro­phies. I’m still looking to take my chance when I get it and I’m happy enough with the way things are go­ing.”

Gibbs is not the only mem­ber of the Un­der-21s who has caught Capello’s eye but the man­ager is also in­ter­ested in en­sur­ing Stu­art Pearce’s team re­main as com­pet­i­tive as pos­si­ble, be­liev­ing this will help the de­vel­op­ment of the likes of Daniel Stur­ridge and Jack Rod­well.

In­deed Tom Huddlestone’s in­clu­sion is an ex­am­ple to all pos­si­ble fu­ture Eng­land play­ers with Capello mark­ing out the mid­fielder quickly af­ter the Ital­ian was ap­pointed.

How­ever, he has called him up spar­ingly and has now waited un­til Huddlestone was a Spurs reg­u­lar.

There are no in­jury con­cer ns for Eng­land ahead of to­day’s game with the 23-man squad hav­ing ar­rived in Doha on Wed­nes­day. – The Tele­graph

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