With many onlookers prepared to write off the importance of England's captain at this summer's European Championships, it's about time we start looking at the specific players that Fabio Capello will be keeping a close eye on between now and the summer.

It's arguable that the only position where the starting role is still up for grabs is on the wing, where a series of poor performances this term mean new faces could be considered.

Capello's newly adopted 4-3-3 formation means there's room for as many as four wide men in the Italian's squad, with the added option of including Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge, who's likely to be selected as one of four or five strikers come the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

GMF have suggested 10 players who will be under the watchful eye of Capello, and rated each of their chances of making the cut.
 

Joe Cole
Age: 30
Caps: 56

Where's he stand?
Following a nightmare year at Liverpool, Cole made the bold summer move to Lille, where you could have been forgiven for thinking his career would dwindle. However, alongside the stylish Eden Hazard, Cole has flourished with five goals and two assists in 19 starts.

What more can he do?
Having failed to feature since the debacle in Bloemfontein against Germany, Cole is hardly on Capello's radar, however the Italian has sent scouts to watch the ex-Hammer this term. There's no more Champions League competition to impress in, while his league form may have to improve still if he's to leap frog those in possession.

Verdict
Selection will depend on fitness of those ahead. An outside bet.
 

Stewart Downing
Age: 27
Caps: 32

Where's he stand?
Since his move to Anfield, Downing has been on something of a downward spiral. He's failed to spark Andy Carroll into life as expected, while with just one goal and no assists, is yet to make a worthwhile contribution. His England performances have been at a similar level, despite his increasing involvement.

What more can he do?
Regaining full fitness will be the main aim between now and the next friendly against Holland, with opportunities for those peripheral names likely to be limited after then. Doesn't possess an all-round football brain so proof his end product has improved is a necessity.

Verdict
Likely to be overlooked.


Matt Jarvis
Age: 25
Caps: 1

Where's he stand?
Has played a part in every league game for Wolves this season, but their struggles at the bottom of the league, as well as their poor goal record, means Jarvis' form has wavered. A stunning equaliser in the victory over Queens Park Rangers was a timely reminder as to his quality.

What more can he do?
Not playing for one of the country's bigger clubs is always likely to hinder his ability to make squads consistently, having failed to build on his one cap against Ghana last March.

Verdict
Even if he finds his very best form, is unlikely to be considered.


Adam Johnson
Age: 24
Caps: 9

Where's he stand?
A regular appearance maker for Manchester City, but rarely handed the responsibility to start for the league leaders. His erratic style means he's as likely to win a game on his own as he is to play no part at all.

What more can he do?
He'll be given the opportunities, so if Johnson can become more consistent for his club in the coming months, Capello will have a tough decision to make. A likely game changer from the bench during Euro 2012.

Verdict
He's 50/50 at this stage.


Aaron Lennon
Age: 24
Caps: 19

Where's he stand?
Has perhaps had his best season in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt this term, assisting the club's league title surge. Often living in the shadow of his left-wing counterpart Gareth Bale, Lennon has tended to swap sides with the Welshman, a necessary skill in Capello's flexible front six.

What more can he do?
Regaining full fitness will be the main aim between now and the next friendly against Holland, with opportunities for those peripheral names likely to be limited after then. Doesn't possess an all-round football brain so proof his end product has improved is a necessity.

Verdict
Likely to be overlooked.

 

James Milner
Age: 26
Caps: 23

Where's he stand?
Played a big, but understated role, in City’s rise this season, with their limited options in central midfield. Has been restricted to a central role, but for England is often used wide. Mr Reliable for both club and country.

What more can he do?
His spell in the middle doesn't appear to be halting anytime soon, even with the return of Yaya Toure on the horizon. Needs to convince, if given the chance, that he can provide good width for City otherwise Capello may opt with a more regular starter in that role.

Verdict
Could be overlooked given limited opportunities on the wing.
 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Age: 18
Caps: 0

Where's he stand?
After being held back following his move from Southampton, recent Premier League starts have yielded goals, assists and excitement. His pace, intelligence in possession and eye for goal perhaps make him on paper England’s best all-round wide player. A deficit of experience could be his undoing.

What more can he do?
Making the England squad to face Holland at the end of the month will make or break his chances. If he achieves that, then proving that fitness wise he can participate in a major tournament following the regular season will be his next aim. Arsene Wenger is unlikely to be the only one needing convincing.

Verdict
Capello's safe approach could mean a cold shoulder.
 

Ashley Young
Age: 26
Caps: 18

Where's he stand?
Begun well with Manchester United, before injury has restricted involvement of late. For England, he's a likely starter under Capello and his end product makes him a valuable asset.

What more can he do?
Before injury curtailed his season, Young's form had dropped off but if he can get anywhere close to what he showed against Arsenal in August he'll be one of the first names on the team sheet.

Verdict
A return to full fitness will rubber stamp his place.
 

Theo Walcott
Age: 22
Caps: 21

Where's he stand?
After helping Arsenal through to the group stage of the Champions League, Walcott's form has been on the wane. His lack of end product has constantly frustrated the Gunners faithful, to the extent that his England place could be under threat.

What more can he do?
Recent showings against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers show his form is improving, and more of the same is required if he's to play in England's warm-up games. Still to convince his pace isn't his only genuine weapon.

Verdict
Was struggling before Christmas, but would now expect to make the 23.
 

Shaun Wright-Phillips
Age: 30
Caps: 36

Where's he stand?
Wright-Phillips' short career at Queens Park Rangers has worked as a condensed snippet of his entire career; shown good potential but failed to get off the ground. No doubt he's looked lively, but failed to really show any cutting edge. Little encouragement things will change.

What more can he do?
Has seen him overtaken by nine England wide men in the last 18 months since the World Cup, which saw him edge out the likes of Walcott. Needs injuries, and a dramatic upturn in form to go his way to even be considered.

Verdict
Appears to have gone backwards since the World Cup. Unlikely selection.

Topics:
Internationals
Football