McLaren has taken this unusual step after every eligible professional player in the country pulled out of the squad with a niggling injury. The latest of whom, Jermaine Jenas, claims to have a calf injury (perhaps caused by this nasty tackle by Spurs team-mate Mido, see pic). His place in the squad has gone to Kieran Richardson, who plays for some Manchester pub team.
Jenas is joined on the sidelines by Gary Neville (grazed knee), Ledley King (something in his eye), Scott Parker (split ends), Darren Bent (indigestion) and Stewart Downing (forgot PE kit). Chris Kirkland also misses the match to be with his wife who is due to give birth.
I won’t be publishing Steve McLaren’s contact numbers as I’m hoping to get a game myselfâ€¦ I can’t wait to put in some mis-timed tackles on Robben and van Persie.