Andy Carroll has been warned he must get his place back at Newcastle before he can be considered for England duty.
Carroll was tipped to be included in Fabio Capello's squad for Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro, only to find himself omitted when the Italian named the group which eventually stuttered to a goalless draw. Capello's reasoning was fairly straightforward.
"He has to play. The last game, he didn't," Capello said.
Left out of the Magpies team that lost at Manchester City by manager Chris Hughton, who has detected a dip in form from the 21-year-old, Capello could not see how Carroll's inclusion could be justified.
The same is true of next month's friendly with France, even though the England coach has already pledged to select a couple of members from Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad who have reached their third successive European Championships. Capello does have a couple of youngsters in mind, although he is not saying who they are.
"Yes, absolutely, one or two of these players will play against France," he added. "But I am not going to tell you the names because it is important for the manager of the club to be told first."
Of the more obvious candidates, Jack Rodwell is injured and presumably Arsene Wenger would not need to be informed about Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs on the basis the Arsenal pair already have their first senior caps.
As England appear weakest in defence, Micah Richards, overlooked completely by Capello but in his expanded provisional squad for last month's matches with Bulgaria and Switzerland, is a possible, along with Blackburn's Phil Jones and Chris Smalling of Manchester United.
Capello is known to be impressed by Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson, although he is well stocked for central midfielders, especially when Frank Lampard is fit, as he is expected to be for the November 17 outing at Wembley. And the Italian has already made it clear he has no intention of discarding his senior stars.
"We are lucky to have players of vast experience who can help bring forward this next generation," Capello said."For many players who are making their first steps in international football, we must handle them carefully and give them every assistance to develop fully."
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