David Beckham has been left out of Fabio Capello's first England squad. The Italian tactician, who took charge of the national team following England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008, omitted Becks and included two new players in a provisional group of 30 to play in next Wednesday's friendly against Switzerland. Capello cited a lack of competitive matches as his reason for omitting the former England captain, who was hoping to earn his 100th cap.
"I know there has been a lot of discussion about David Beckham,'' Capello said. "When I spoke with David on the phone yesterday, I advised him that he is still part of my plans and once he is playing regularly in America we will look closely at him again.'' Capello, of course, famously dropped Beckham only to later reinstate him in the Real Madrid first team during the 2006-07 season. Real Madrid went on to win the La Liga title, with Beckham playing a significant role.
Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips and Blackburn's David Bentley were selected instead as contenders for Beckham's normal position on the right side of midfield. Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor and Curtis Davies were the newbies selected to the squad, which will be trimmed to 23 players on Saturday. Capello has not yet named his captain for next Wednesday's game.