views

Barry is back but Capello may axe pair

FABIO CAPELLO has confirmed Gareth Barry will return to the England side for tomorrow’s clash with Algeria but admits he may drop Emile Heskey and Robert Green.

Midfielder Barry is fit to make his first start of the tournament after shaking off the ankle injury that kept him on the bench for Saturday’s draw with the USA. The Manchester City player will take the holding role in front of the back four, meaning captain Steven Gerrard is likely to revert to the left.

That move would probably see James Milner lose his place in the starting line-up, and
Capello revealed yesterday that he is also considering two more changes.

Goalkeeper Green’s place is under serious threat after his failure to hold Clint Dempsey’s
routine shot gifted the Americans an equaliser. Heskey, despite impressing against the USA, could be axed in favour of a more prolific striker, with Capello favouring Jermain Defoe over Peter Crouch.

“Gareth [Barry] will play this Friday,” said the Italian. “He is okay, there is no problem.
He has trained very well and he is fit.”

Commenting on Green, Capello hinted heavily that he is leaning towards dropping the
West Ham stopper, saying he feared for the player’s mental state.

“He made a mistake, a big mistake,” he added. “In the second half he played well because he made a good save, but I have to decide. It’s a problem of the mind, you remember always the mistake. You have to chose the best keeper mentally at this moment.”

Axing Green would leave Capello with a straight choice between veteran David James
and in-form rookie Joe Hart. Of who would partner Wayne Rooney in attack, Capello
said it was a toss-up between “Heskey or Defoe”.