Players more worried about staying in team

Trevor Steven
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WHEN England’s players run out at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday they will not care one bit that John Terry has been reinstated as captain. Their primary concern will be to play well enough to be picked again next time; I know that’s just how it is when you’re with the national team.

Whether it is Terry regularly wearing the armband – or Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard or even Frank Lampard – won’t make them play any better. The captaincy has been vastly overplayed. If there is an issue it is that Terry was stripped of the job and has now been reappointed.

None of us really knows how Fabio Capello has handled it, but he was forced to make a decision by Ferdinand’s availability being limited by injuries. He had to pick someone. I have no problem with it being Terry and I know the players won’t either.

So much has been made of it that there has been little talk of how England should line up in Wales. For me, you have to start with Wayne Rooney.

The United striker has flourished alongside Javier Hernandez at club level, and Jermain Defoe is probably the closest thing to the Mexican in the England squad, but I think a big target man better suits what will be a very British-style game.

That leaves Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll and, while I feel Carroll is the man long-term, he is not fit enough yet and Crouch is revelling in Spurs’ good season.