LIVERPOOL midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been rewarded for this season’s fine form with the first England call-up of his career as he and Ryan Bertrand were respectively promoted as cover for the injured Frank Lampard and Kieran Gibbs.
Lampard remains in the squad but is considered a doubt for Friday’s World Cup qualifier with San Marino at Wembley after limping out of Chelsea’s weekend victory over Norwich with a knee injury but it is the withdrawal of Arsenal’s Gibbs with a thigh problem that has prompted Bertrand’s arrival.
The defender is the understudy to Ashley Cole at Chelsea who was yesterday charged with misconduct by the Football Association after taking to Twitter to describe the organisation as a “bunch of t***s”. Cole has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge but remains in the squad despite facing a domestic ban and it is thought that regardless of his decision, England manager Roy Hodgson will make the ultimate call on if he is to be considered for selection.
In addition to Ryan Shawcross and goalkeeper Fraser Forster, Shelvey is one of three uncapped individuals in Hodgson’s squad. The midfielder has been an impressive figure for Liverpool in what has been a difficult start to the season and it is significant that he has been included ahead of Manchester City’s Gareth Barry, a veteran of 53 caps, whose England career may consequently be over.