Our Favourite England Tradition Set To Take Centre Stage Once Again

by admin

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

This week was the release of Fabio Cappello’s England squad who over the next two weeks are set to face both Wales and Ghana, two sides who the English support as well as the British press will assume can be surpassed with a degree of ease and aplomb (but with the height of England’s expectations who aren’t they allowed to surpass with ease and aplomb?)

In the build up to this international break the speculation, debate and dispute circulating up and down the country this week has been no different. Although the talking point has generally been Cappello’s decision to re-award John Terry with the captain’s armband it seems that a tradition with the pre-international break buzz is the highly anticipated ‘surprise call-up’.

This is something that pre-dates Cappello’s reign in England and I’m sure by now many people reading this will know what I’m getting at. If only for 15 minutes, these players took part in the proudest occasion of their lives, forgotten by everyone but them.

In November 2000 Seth Johnson received his first England call-up. At the time Johnson was seen as a rising star in English football whilst playing for Derby County. However, the star couldn’t shine during an unmemorable substitute appearance in which England lost 1-0 to the Italians. Though shortly after Leeds United snapped him up for £7 million so he must have impressed someone. Johnson played a significant part afterwards in United’s downfall and never came into England contention again.

Another wondrous occasion in International football was the late, great and cheekiest substitute appearance arguably in an England shirt. On the 28th March 2007 David Nugent, playing for Championship Preston North-End at the time, was brought on by Steve McClaren against Andorra and was found guilty of the most blatant goal theft of our generation. At 2-0 and the game coming to an end England were comfortably in possession and seemed happy to play out the 90 minutes. However, in the 3rd minute of injury time Steven Gerrard played a ball into Jermaine Defoe who’s snap shot trickled underneath the keeper and toward the line but Nugent had other ideas. Nugent smashed the ball in from half a yard out and into the back of the net making him the 3rd England player to wear the one cap/one goal crown. Let’s be honest, you’d do the same.

These two examples are just the surface of the one cap wonderment that has seen players like Jay Bothroyd, David Dunn, Joey Barton, Francis Jeffers and Lee Hendrie bask in their short-lived international fame. It’s Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Matt Jarvis’ turn this time so are we looking at a potential England great or a man who will tell his grandchildren about that one time he got called up to the international set up?

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  • Martin

    So true about Matt Jarvis, will prob never get another call up, will play 15 mins against Wales, the first half against Ghana and that will be it!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Mystical Mike

    it’s the England way, always has been, might explain why we haven’t won anything for years. We pick the same players even if they are out of form. Frank Lampard anyone?

    The quicker Sven McClaren goes back to Italy the better IMO

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