EXCLUSIVE: Dion Dublin: Capello was right to leave Arsenal’s Theo Walcott at home
By Jonny Payne
Former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin believes England manager Fabio Capello was right to leave Arsenal’s Theo Walcott out of his World Cup squad20. Walcott was not included in the final 23-man World Cup squad that is currently preparing for their second group match against Algeria on Friday. An unconvincing performance by England against the U.S in their first match has led some to question whether Capello was wrong to oust Walcott from his squad.
Dublin, who won four England caps, knows only too well the pain of missing out on a place in a World Cup squad having been overlooked by Glenn Hoddle for England’s campaign in 1998, says in Walcott’s case it came down to the quality of the Arsenal player’s delivery.
Dublin said: “Theo would be the next player to have on the list, but talking strictly as a centre forward, I need an end product, I need crosses in the box as a centre forward.”
He added, “If you’ve got Theo, Lennon and Wright-Phillips, who’s going to give you the best end product? As a forward I would probably have left Theo at home for that reason. All of the other reasons he would have made it in, but Mr. Capello knows his players better than anyone else.”
Dublin is happy with Capello’s forward selections, citing the inclusions of Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch as positives. He does concede, however, that Darren Bent could count himself unfortunate to miss out.
The Leicester-born player said: “I was happy but he goes against what he was preaching, which was people on form will get picked. He went against that a bit with Darren Bent, who would have been the second player on the sheet after Rooney, but he’s gone with people he knows can get the best out of Rooney.”
The 41 year-old added: “I thought Emile Heskey was superb the other night against America, Crouch I love anyway, Rooney’s going to pick himself and Defoe can come off the bench and score goals, so I have no problem with his forward selection whatsoever.”
Dublin believes England have a chance of winning their second World Cup, but he insists it is a matter of the Three Lions’ top players all playing well at the same moment in time. He also tips either Spain or Holland for glory
“My heart is wanting England to do really well and if they click then we’ll reach the semi finals at least,” he said.
“Away from England, the obvious ones are Spain because they are superb, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling for Holland. They score more than they concede so they might win six-five every game!”
Should Walcott have missed out? Have your say below