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Beckham's success and defensive injuries leave McClaren mulling another recall

Beckham's success and defensive injuries leave McClaren mulling another recall

Having recalled David Beckham, England coach Steve McClaren may be about to bring back another veteran to his squad.
Sol Campbell has not played for England since last year's World Cup, but could return because of a shortage of fit central defenders for the Aug. 22 friendly against Germany at Wembley.
Captain John Terry and Tottenham's Ledley King are both set to miss the start of the season, while Jonathan Woodgate is again struggling with injury. McLaren has also spoken to Jamie Carragher to try to convince him not to retire from international soccer at age 29 because he has never been a regular.
McClaren needs a good performance to prepare for next month's European Championship qualifying matches against Israel and Russia.
That leaves McClaren to consider a recall for the experienced Campbell, who will captain Portsmouth this season after a successful first year with the club.
Campbell's teammate, David James, could also return to provide competition for No. 1 goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
"It would be silly and foolish of me to dismiss David James and Sol Campbell," McClaren said. "I never said I would do that and I have no intention of doing it and certainly, with the injuries we have, I am not dismissing the possibility of going to watch Portsmouth."
Portsmouth opens its Premier League season at Derby on Saturday, seeking to build on a surprisingly strong ninth-place finish last time.
Much of that was down to a defense led by Campbell, who joined on a free transfer from Arsenal and has played 69 times for England.
The 32-year-old Campbell played every minute of England's games at the 1998 World Cup, 2000 European Championship and 2002 World Cup.
After a shaky last season at Arsenal, he was only a reserve for last year's World Cup in Germany, when England lost to Portugal in the quarterfinals. Terry and Ferdinand were England's first-choice central defensive pairing.
Ferdinand should play against Germany, leaving McClaren to find a partner for the Manchester United player.
"You can't close the door on anyone in this job," McClaren said. "I have brought players back in the past and as long as players want to be involved with England, that is great."
McClaren's position seemed under threat after a string of dismal performances, including a 2-0 loss at Croatia that left England's qualification for next year's European Championship in doubt.
He then recalled Beckham, nine months after dropping him from the squad, and was rewarded with improved performances in a 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil and a 3-0 qualifying win at Estonia.
McClaren plans to visit the United States this week to meet the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder and discuss his fitness. Beckham is unlikely to play in front of McClaren because of an ankle injury.
"I intend to go over and have a chat with him to see how he is," McClaren said. "I also need to watch an MLS game in the flesh and have a look at the standard."


Updated : 2021-10-17 09:01 GMT+08:00