Under-pressure Steve McClaren has hinted that he will run the rule over some of England‘s Under 21 players in the friendlies before the next Euro 2008 qualifier. "There are players in the Under-21s knocking on the door, we will be looking at them very, very closely," McClaren might have shouted to a baying pack of England fans outside the stadium in Zagreb.
We consider three of the top candidates below.
1 Nigel Reo-Coker
The West Ham skipper has a very old head screwed on his young shoulders. The all-action Sun Tzu-reading midfielder was on the verge of the World Cup squad in the summer. It is difficult to imagine McClaren dropping Lampard, but if he leaves the Chelsea man out for a friendly Reo-Coker could capitalise.
2 Theo Walcott
After his World Cup disappointment Walcott seems to have come of age this season. He made decisive impacts as a substitute in some of Arsenal’s games early this season. His two midweek goals for the under 21s won’t have done his chances any harm.
3 Micah Richards
England are still relying on Phil Neville and Jamie Carragher to provide cover for Gary Neville, so why not get a young right-back in the squad to shadow Red Nev? Richards has been in outstanding form for Manchester City.