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England's Season 2000-01:  Journal

Friday, 30 March 2001 - Manchester United refused to allow Steve McClaren to continue his part-time role on the England coaching staff.  The agreement under which he was to serve England for four matches expired yesterday.

Monday, 19 March 2001 - David Beckham will remain captain of the England side in the World Cup 2002 qualifying matches against Finland and Albania on 24 and 28 March, coach Sven-Göran Eriksson announced.  Beckham has captained the side in the last two matches, the friendlies against Spain last month and Italy last November.

Sunday, 18 March 2001 - Coach Sven-Göran Eriksson named a 26-man squad for the World Cup 2002 preliminary matches against Finland at Anfield Road in Liverpool on 24 March and Albania at Qemal Stafa Stadium in Tiranö on 28 March.

Friday, 16 March 2001 - The Football Association confirmed media reports appearing over the past two months that England's World Cup 2002 preliminary match against Greece on 6 October, the last in the qualifying campaign, will be played at Old Trafford in Manchester.  The match will be the fourth England have played at Old Trafford and the first since the 2-1 victory against South Africa on 24 May 1997.

Thursday, 15 March 2001 - Finland coach Antti Muurinen named an 18-man squad to face England in the World Cup 2002 preliminary match on Saturday, 24 March.    

Wednesday, 14 March 2001 - England climbed a rung to 16th in FIFA's monthly national team rankings released today on the strength of their 3-0 win against Spain last month, the first time in seven months they have risen in the rankings.  England's next two opponents, both in their World Cup 2002 preliminary group, also gained ground, Finland jumping three spots to 57th and Albania a single place to 75th.  Of the two other teams in the qualifying group, Germany retained 11th place and Greece dropped a spot to 44th.  Among England's scheduled friendly opponents, Mexico remained in 7th spot, Holland slid a rung to 9th and Italy sank a place to 5th.

Tuesday, 13 March 2001 - Leeds United announced that England's return friendly against Italy will be played at the club's Elland Road home on 27 March 2001.  England played at Elland Road once before, the 3-3 draw with Sweden on 8 June 1995 in the Umbro Cup International Challenge Tournament.  The Football Association has yet to confirm the fixture.

Monday, 12 March 2001 - The Football Association confirmed media reports appearing over the past month that Newcastle United's St. James' Park will host England's World Cup 2002 preliminary match against Albania on 5 September 2001.  The match will be England's fifth at St. James' Park and the first since 9 November 1938, when Norway suffered a 4-0 friendly defeat.  

Wednesday, 28 February 2001 - England beat Spain, 3-0, at Villa Park in Birmingham.

Friday, 23 February 2001 - Spain Coach Jose Antonion Camacho named an 18-man squad for the friendly match against England at Villa Park in Birmingham on Wednesday, 28 February.

Friday, 23 February 2001 - Coach Sven-Göran Eriksson announced his first England squad, calling 31 players for the friendly match against Spain at Villa Park in Birmingham on Wednesday, 28 February.  

Wednesday, 14 February 2001 - England placed 17th for the third time in succession in FIFA's monthly national team rankings released today.  They have not played since they intially dropped to 17th in the December 2000 ranking.  All but one of England's World Cup 2002 qualifying opponents also retained their rankings, Germany at 11th, Greece at 43rd and Finland at 60th.  The exception, Albania, dropped two spots to 76th.  England's scheduled friendly opponents also kept their places, Spain at 7th, Mexico at 12th and Holland at 8th.

Thursday, 8 February 2001 - Media reports say England's World Cup qualifier against Albania on 5 September will be played at St. James' Park in Newcastle, and the qualifier against Greece on 6 October, the last in the World Cup campaign, at Old Trafford in Manchester.  The Football Association has yet to confirm these venues.  St. James' Park, although not the present version, has staged four England matches, the most recent the 4-0 friendly victory against Norway on 9 November 1938.  The three earlier occasions were British Championship matches, the 2-1 loss to Wales on 15 November 1933, the 1-1 draw with Scotland on 6 April 1907 and the 6-0 win against Wales on 18 March 1901.  The stadium also played host to two wartime internationals pitting England against Scotland.  Old Trafford has hosted three England matches, most recently the 2-1 friendly victory against South Africa on 24 May 1997.  The other two occasions were British Championship matches, the 7-0 victory over Northern Ireland on 16 November 1938 and the 1-0 loss to Scotland on 17 April 1926, the last time a home match against the Old Enemy was played at a venue other than Wembley Stadium.  

Sunday, 4 February 2001 - England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson is reported to have named Dave Sexton as his chief scout.  Sexton, 70, managed Manchester United and Chelsea, among other clubs.  He first became a member of the England staff in 1977 under manager Ron Greenwood and has served England in various capacities over the past 24 years.

Monday, 22 January 2001 - Liverpool forward Michael Owen is reported extremely doubtful for the England squad coach Sven-Göran Eriksson will select to meet Spain at Villa Park, Birmingham on 28 February.  Owen has suffered a recurrence of his longstanding right hamstring problem.  

Saturday, 20 January 2001 - Arsenal central defender Tony Adams announced his retirement from the England team following an international career that stretched over 14 seasons.  Plagued by chronic back trouble in recent years, the 34-year-old Adams said he was no longer physically capable of performing for both club and national sides and that he would devote the remainder of his playing career solely to his club.  He made 66 appearances for England, all of them as a starter, scored five goals and captained the side 15 times.  His last match was the 1-0 World Cup qualifying loss against Germany on 7 October, 2000.  When he made his first appearance as a 20-year-old in the 4-2 victory over Spain in Madrid on 18 February 1987, he became the first England player born after England's 1966 World Cup victory.  Undoubtedly England's best central defender of the 1990's, he will be missed as much for his character--his determination, effort and leadership--as for his talents.

Friday, 19 January 2001 - Premiership clubs rejected the Football Association's recommendation that next season start early to allow the England team adequate time to prepare for the crucial World Cup 2002 qualification match against Germany and, should they qualify, the World Cup final tournament in Japan and Korea.

The F.A. had suggested 4 or 11 August as the starting date to allow extra preparation time ahead of England's warmup friendly against Holland on 15 August and the qualifier against Germany on 1 September.  Those dates also would have allowed an earlier closing date for the season, which is essential to the England team's prospects because the starting date for the World Cup final tournament is 31 May.  

But only two clubs, Manchester United and Liverpool, voted for the 4 August starting date, and only seven supported the 11 August date, which was also backed by the Premier League executive.  The remaining 11 clubs voted in favor of 18 August, which is only one day earlier than the present season started, apparently fearing that an earlier date would reduce attendances because many fans would be away on holiday.  

No decision has yet been made on when the season will end.  But rejection of the early starting date will harm the England team regardless because it means either an end-of-season date too close to the start of the World Cup to allow the national team adequate time to prepare or further congestion in an already-crowded fixture list that will increase the injury and exhaustion risks the players face.  

Wednesday, 17 January 2001 - England retained 17th place in FIFA's monthly national team rankings released today.  They have not played since the last ranking in December and, perhaps not coincidentally, it was the first time in five months they have not dropped a spot.  Among England's World Cup 2002 qualifying opponents, Germany remained in 11th place, Greece dropped a rung to 43rd, Finland slid a spot to 60th, and Albania sank two places to 74th.  All of England's scheduled friendly opponents maintained their rankings, Spain at 7th, Mexico at 12th and Holland at 8th.

Friday, 12 January 2001 - Sven-Göran Eriksson flew into England from Italy and officially assumed the England national team coach's post.  He made his first public appearance in his new job at a press conference at the Football Association's Soho Square headquarters in London.  This weekend he will attend Premiership matches as he begins taking stock of the talent available to the national side.

Wednesday, 10 January 2001 - The Football Association announced England will play friendly matches against Mexico at Pride Park, home of Derby County, on 25 May and Holland at White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur, on 15 August.

The fixtures were made after consultation with England's new coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson, who is expected to take charge soon following his resignation from SS Lazio in Italy, and acting part-time manager Peter Taylor, who will serve at least temporarily on Eriksson's staff.

The Mexico match, which will serve as preparation for England's World Cup 2002 qualification match in Greece on 6 June, is the first full international to be held at Pride Park, although two of Derby County's former homes staged British Championship matches against Ireland, the Baseball Ground England's 2-1 victory on 11 February 1911 and the Derbyshire County Cricket Club England's 9-0 win on 9 March 1895.  The award of the match to Derby represents recognition of the large attendances Pride Park drew for two recent England under-21 matches.

Soon after meeting Mexico, the England squad will leave for a week-long training session at La Manga in southern Spain, the camp former England manager Glenn Hoddle used to prepare his squad for World Cup 1998, where, it is hoped, the players will become used to the heat they will face in Greece.  From La Manga, they will fly straight to Greece about three days before the qualification match.

The Holland match, the first England have ever played in August, was scheduled as preparation for the World Cup qualification match against Germany in Munich on 1 September.  It will be the fifth time White Hart Lane has hosted an England international, the last coming on 30 November 1949, when Italy were beaten 2-0 in a friendly match.  For Holland, the fixture serves as a preparation for the 1 September World Cup qualification match against the Republic of Ireland.  England will play a return match in Holland in February 2002 as both teams, should they have qualified, prepare for the World Cup final tournament.

The August fixture, which comes just after the new Premiership season opens, undoubtedly will draw the ire of the clubs represented on the England squad and constitutes an apparent about-face in F.A. policy.  During former manager Kevin Keegan's tenure, the F.A. consistently yielded to club pressures and sent the England team into crucial qualifying matches and even final tournament play without adequate match preparation.

England last played Mexico in their 2-0 friendly match victory at Wembley Stadium on 29 March 1997.  They last met Holland in their 4-1 triumph in the European Championship finals group match at Wembley on 18 June 1996.

Tuesday, 9 January 2001 - Sven-Göran Eriksson resigned from his post as coach of SS Lazio in Italy, and the Football Association announced he will take over the England team as soon as possible.  Appointed on 31 October 2000, Eriksson was scheduled to become England coach on 1 July 2001, when his contract with SS Lazio was to expire, but he will now take charge of the England team before their next match, the 28 February friendly against Spain at Villa Park in Birmingham.   Peter Taylor, appointed part-time caretaker manager for England's friendly against Italy last November and then reappointed for the Spain match, has made way for the new coach and will work with him in preparing the team.


Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - England struggled to a scoreless draw against Finland in Helsinki.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000 - England fell another rung to 15th in the monthly FIFA world ranking released today.  The ranking was announced before England's match against Finland later in the day.

Sunday, October 8, 2000 -  Howard Wilkinson was once again named acting manager of England for the World Cup 2002 qualifier against Finland in Helsinki on Wednesday, October 11.

Saturday, October 7, 2000 - England lost to Germany 1-0 in the last match at Wembley Stadium before it is torn down for construction of a new stadium.  Manager Kevin Keegan resigned immediately following the match.

Thursday, 28 September 2000 - England manager Kevin Keegan named an unusually large 27-man squad for the World Cup qualification matches against Germany on October 7 at Wembley Stadium and Finland on October 11 at Helsinki's Olympiastadion, including West Ham United's 18-year-old midfield prodigy Joe Cole and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

Thursday, 28 September 2000 - England Under-21 manager Howard Wilkinson announced a 25-player squad for the European Championship qualification matches against Germany on October 6 and Finland on October 10.

Wednesday, 27 September 2000 - Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier pronouced striker Robbie Fowler "ready for England."  But West Ham United manager Harry Redknapp has warned that central defender Rio Ferdinand, who returned from a hip injury last weekend only to limp off the pitch with a groin strain after a little more than 10 minutes of action, will have to prove his fitness to play for his club side this weekend before he joins the England squad.

Tuesday, 26 September 2000 - Following the death of England manager Kevin Keegan's 76-year-old mother, Doris, the Football Association announced that whether he names the England squad for the October 7 World Cup qualifier against Germany as scheduled on Thursday will be left up to him.

Arsenal central defender and England captain Tony Adams has been declared fit although he has missed five of Arsenal's last six matches.  Club manager Arsene Wenger said:  "It is a very congested period of games and a big test for him.  But he will play tomorrow night [in the European Champions' League match against SS Lazio] and hopefully again on Sunday against [Manchester] United before he goes with England."

West Ham United defender Rio Ferdinand declared himself fit for England selection despite the groin injury that forced him to leave Saturday's match against Coventry City.  Ferdinand said:  "The injury does not feel anywhere near as bad as I first feared.  Playing for England is very much on my mind because there is a shortage of players.  The day after Coventry, the mobility in my leg was returning and there was little pain. I could be fit for the weekend if everything goes well."  He added:  "My season has been wrecked by injuries. I have not been able to train properly and when I went down against Coventry, I thought it was going to go from bad to worse, but thankfully, the specialist told me it was probably down to fatigue."  Ferdinand is also mindful of the opportunity presented by the injury to Sol Campbell and fitness doubts surrounding Tony Adams, the two central defenders manager Kevin Keegan has given first claim to a place in the starting lineup when fit.  "This is a great chance for me to get into the England team," Ferdinand said.  "It is a massive game for the whole country and playing against Germany would certainly be the biggest game of my career."

Saturday, 23 September 2000 - Rio Ferdinand is doubtful for England's October World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland after straining his groin and limping off the pitch early in West Ham United's 3-0 victory at Coventry City.  Ferdinand had only just recovered from a hip injury that kept him off the England squad for the friendly against France early this month.

Emile Heskey is also doubtful as he limped off early in Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Sunderland after recurrence of the knee injury he sustained on the season's opening day.  That injury forced his withdrawal from the squad for the friendly against France on September 2.  He will undergo a medical examination to determine whether he requires surgery.

Thursday, 21 September 2000 - The Football Association announced England will wear red shirts against Germany at Wembley next month for the first time since their World Cup victory over the Germans in 1966.   Germany will wear their traditional white shirts, as in 1966.  England wore red and Germany green in their clash last June in Charleroi.  The change in strip came at the request of both manager Kevin Keegan, who apparently hopes to invoke the spirit of 1966, and England supporters, who believe the red shirts are lucky and that a stadium of fans wearing red presents a more formidable background than a sea of white.  They might be reminded that England wore red and Germany white when the Germans came back from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 after extra time in Leon, Mexico at the 1970 World Cup.

Although Robbie Fowler scored five goals for Liverpool's Reserves against Bradford City Reserves last night as he made his first starting appearance in a competitive match this season, Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier cautioned that he will not rush Fowler back into first team action.  Noting that Fowler "has started just 18 games for us in almost two years," Houllier said, "People who are saying he will be ready for the England game against Germany on October 7 should remember his programme since April"--"30 minutes in a game in Germany in July, 30 minutes against Glentoran at the beginning of August and 10 minutes against Rapid Bucharest last week."

Tottenham Hotspur central defender Sol Campbell will definitely miss October's World Cup qualifiers after a scan revealed he tore a muscle as well as dislocating his shoulder in Tuesday night's match against Brentford.  He will have to undergo surgery that will keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.  

Tuesday, 19 September 2000 - Sol Campbell suffered a dislocated shoulder in Tottenham Hotspurs' goalless League Cup draw with Brentford tonight.  According to Spurs manager George Graham, Campbell will be out of action for up to four weeks, which means he will not play in England's World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland in October.

Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler, who missed the September 2 friendly with France after suffering strained ankle ligaments in a pre-season friendly in early August, hopes to prove his fitness to England manager Kevin Keegan in time for the October qualifiers.  Fowler appeared as a substitute against Rapid Bucharest in the UEFA Cup last week and will start for a strong Liverpool reserve team against Bradford tomorrow night.

Thursday, 14 September 2000 -  The Football Association confirmed that the November 15 friendly against Italy will take place at Stadio della Alpi in Turin, kickoff 8:45 p.m. local time.

Tuesday, 12 September 2000 - Jason Wilcox, just returned to the Leed's United's first team from two operations on the knee injury that kept him out of Euro 2000 last June, broke an ankle in training yesterday and will be out for eight weeks, which means he will be unavailable for England's World Cup qualiers against Germany and Finland in October and the friendy against Italy in mid-November.  Wilcox's loss is all the more costly because he is one of a very few England internationals who are naturally left-footed.

Wednesday, 6 September 2000 - Tottenham Hotspurs' Darren Anderton, dubbed "Sicknote" because of his frequent injury absences, will miss next month's World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland after sustaining a serious groin injury while taking a corner kick in Tuesday night's Premiership match against Everton.

Wednesday, 6 September 2000 - England fell a rung to 14th in the monthly FIFA world ranking released today despite a 1-1 draw away to reigning World Cup and European champions France last Saturday.  Mexico displaced England in 13th place on the strength of Sundayös 7-1 pounding of Panama in a World Cup qualifier.  Competitive matches receive more weight than friendly matches in FIFAös ranking calculations.  Among England's opponents in the World Cup 2002 qualifying competition, Germany climbed two spots to regain 9th place, Greece dropped two spots to 33rd, Finland leaped seven rungs to 47th in the third highest jump of the month, and Albania rose two places to 88th.  England's opposition in friendly matches this season remained where they were, November opponent Italy at 6th and February opponent Spain at 5th.

Wednesday, 5 September 2000 - Another two players who withdrew on injury grounds from England's squad for the match against France returned to play for their clubs.  Steven Gerrard put in the full 90 minutes for Liverpool against Aston Villa and his clubmate Emile Heskey played for 63 minutes.  Four of the five injury withdrawals are now fit enough to play for their club sides; only Rio Ferdinand remains sidelined.

Tuesday, 5 September 2000 - Two players who withdrew from England's squad for the friendly match against France because of injury returned to action for their club sides.  Gary Neville played a full 90 minutes for Manchester United against Bradford City and Kevin Phillips did likewise for Sunderland against West Ham United.  Rio Ferdinand, also an injury withdrawal, did not play for West Ham.

Saturday, 2 September 2000 - England drew 1-1 with France in Saint-Denis as Michael Owen came on as a late substitute to score the equalizer in the 86th minute.  While England did enough to quiet the fears of the many English supporters who expected a drubbing, there remained a gaping disparity in the quality of the two teams.  Two 10-minute stretches, one in each half, in which Les Bleus had the entire England team reeling under relentless attack only lent substance to the suspicion that France regarded the match as an exhibition celebrating the retirement from international football of three of their stars and could have stepped up their play a notch or two had it been worth the effort.

Friday, 1 September 2000 - Kevin Keegan announced a starting lineup featuring Andrew Cole as the sole striker and relegating Michael Owen to a substitute's role.  Paul Scholes will play as a withdrawn forward behind Cole and in front of a four-man midfield and a four-man back line, as Keegan refused to change to a 3-5-2 formation.  David Beckham and Dennis Wise, preferred over Paul Ince, will play in central midfield with Darren Anderton and Nick Barmby on the right and left flanks.  The back line has no regular fullbacks, as central defenders Sol Campbell and Gareth Barry are used as right and left backs on either side of the Arsenal central defender duo of Martin Keown and Tony Adams.   David Seaman returns to the goal. 

Thursday, August 31, 2000 - West Ham United midfielder Joe Cole starred as England's under-21's romped to a 6-1 victory against Georgia's under-21's at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.

Thursday, August 31, 2000 - Kevin Phillips was ruled out of Saturday's match with France Wednesday night as a result of the shoulder injury he incurred in Premiership action last Saturday, and he will not fly to France today with the rest of the squad.  Phillips' withdrawal deepens the striker crisis in the England camp, leaving only three forwards in the squad:  Andrew Cole, just returned to training after a groin injury, Michael Owen and 19-year-old Alan Smith, who was given a late summons in view of fitness doubts surrounding Cole and Phillips.  Robbie Fowler was unavailable for selection to the squad through injury and his Liverpool teammate Emile Heskey had to withdraw from the squad because of a knee injury.

At a press conference after the squad's arrival in Paris, it was announced that Gareth Barry and Andrew Cole will start in Saturday's match and that David Beckham will play as a central midfielder rather than on the right flank.  No further details on lineup or formation were forthcoming as speculation continued over whether manager Kevin Keegan would play only one striker rather than the usual two and whether he would employ a 3-5-2 wingback formation instead of his usual and preferred 4-4-2 formation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 -  Andrew Cole was pronounced fit and took part in training, alleviating concerns about the shortage of fit forwards on the team after injuries had forced the withdrawal of Emile Heskey and kept Cole and Kevin Phillips from training.  Phillips did not train today and the medical staff will assess his condition tomorrow morning to decide whether he will fly to France with the team later in the day.  Steve McManaman, out yesterday with flu, trained today and is in line for a substitute role on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - Queens Park Rangers center back Clark Carlisle has been given a late call to join England's under-21 squad for tomorrow night's match against Georgia at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.

Tuesday, August 29, 2000 - Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were sent home, joining Emile Heskey, who did not report, as injury withdrawals.  Neville and Ferdinand have lingering groin and hip injuries, respectively.  Gerrard has long-standing problems with his groin, back and hamstring--apparently because his youthful physique cannot withstand the rigors of the Premiership schedule--and manager Kevin Keegan is concerned he may not be fit for England's World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland in October.  

Injuries also kept forwards Andrew Cole (sore Achilles tendon) and Kevin Phillips (sore shoulder) from training, leaving the team with only one fit forward, Michael Owen, and prompting Keegan to summon 19-year-old Leeds United striker Alan Smith from the under-21 squad as cover.  Keegan said he may call Dion Dublin and Chris Sutton as replacements in the event Cole and Phillips have to withdraw.  Steve McManaman also sat out the practice session with flu. 

Keegan announced that Tony Adams will captain the side against France on Saturday.

Monday, August 28, 2000 - Manager Kevin Keegan revealed he will not be summoning any replacements for injured players, which means England will play France with only three forwards in the wake of Emile Heskey's injury withdrawal.  There was speculation even before Heksey withdrew that Keegan may choose to play only one forward with Paul Scholes, normally a midfielder, cast as a withdrawn forward "in the hole" behind the central striker.  Some commentators have said England's reliance on two forwards is obsolete in today's game.  They argue that it produces an attacking game that is predictable and too easy to defend against, that it cannot break through massed defences, and that it is one reason the English midfield were consistently outmanned and overrun at the European Championship 2000 final tournament.

Sunday, August 27, 2000 -  According to Football Association spokesman Adrian Bevington, only Emile Heskey has withdrawn from the England squad, and all other players will be required to report to the team hotel at Burnham Beeches tomorrow evening.  Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand will be excused after reporting if England's medical staff confirm their club managers' claims they are not fit.

Saturday, August 26, 2000 - Liverpool's Steven Gerrard played the full 90 minutes against Southampton despite yesterday's reports that a groin injury made him doubtful, but defenders Gary Neville of Manchester United and Rio Ferdinand of West Ham United were both declared unfit to join the England team after their teams met today.  Neville played the entire match, but Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said he will notify England manager Kevin Keegan that the groin injury Neville has been carrying will force his withdrawal from the England squad.  Ferdinand had to leave today's match with a reoccurence of the hip injury that has plagued him since the pre-season, and West Ham manager Harry Redknapp said there is "no chance" he will be fit for England.

Friday, August 25, 2000 - Liverpool's Emile Heskey is reportedly doubtful for the match with France a week from Saturday because of a knee injury he suffered in the season opener against Bradford last Saturday and aggravated against Arsenal Monday.  He has been ruled out of tomorrow's match at Southampton.  Although Steven Gerrard is in the Liverpool squad for tomorrow, a groin injury is expected to keep him from playing and may force him to withdraw from the England squad. 

Thursday, August 24, 2000 - Manager Kevin Keegan announced that Tony Adams will become England's captain now Alan Shearer has retired from international football.  The Arsenal defender served as captain during Terry Venables' tenure as coach and later filled in on occasion when Shearer was absent.  Keegan said Tottenham Hotspurs defender Sol Campbell will become vice-captain and wear the armband when Adams is unavailable.

Thursday, August 24, 2000 - Manager Kevin Keegan gave recalls to Andy Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Darren Anderton as he summoned a 24-player squad for the September 2 friendly match against France in Saint-Denis, but he made no major changes from the squad that represented England at the European Championship 2000 final tournament in June.

Only three players are missing from the 22-man Euro 2000 squad:  Alan Shearer, who retired from national team play following the tournament, Robbie Fowler, who is injured, and Richard Wright, who has been dropped.  Since Wright, as the third goalkeeper, remained on the bench during the tournament, the upshot is that Keegan did not drop anyone who played during Euro 2000.

Keegan recalled the four players he cut at the last moment as he pared his preliminary Euro 2000 squad to meet UEFA's 22-player limit:  Cole, Ferdinand, Keiron Dyer and David James.  He also resummoned Anderton, whose last England appearance came against France in Feburary, 1999 under caretaker manager Howard Wilkinson.  Anderton has been injured for much of the time since then. 

Three players who had to withdraw from the preliminary Euro 2000 squad because of injury were again unavailable for selection through injury although they would have been in contention had they been fit:  Ray Parlour, Jason Wilcox and Jamie Redknapp.  Also unavailable through injury was Trevor Sinclair, who figured in several squads last season and but has yet to earn his first cap.

There was no call for left backs Graeme Le Saux and Stuart Pearce, who figured in recent speculation about the squad because their absence through long-term injury has created great problems for England on the left side.  Keegan said Le Saux is not match fit but has been invited with the England squad for a week in the hope he will be ready when England open their World Cup 2002 qualifying campaign against Germany at Wembley in October.  And he insisted the 38-year-old Pearce remains in his thoughts for the squad to be selected for October's World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Finland.

Keegan also revealed he had told Steve McManaman he will not start against France because he has yet to play for his club side, Real Madrid, this season.  Real want to get rid of McManaman and have sought to force him to agree to a move by refusing to play him.

The full squad:   

Goalkeepers:  David Seaman, Arsenal; Nigel Martyn, Leeds United; David James, Aston Villa.

Defenders:  Philip Neville, Manchester United; Gary Neville, Manchester United; Gareth Barry, Aston Villa; Tony Adams, Arsenal; Martin Keown, Arsenal; Sol Campbell, Tottenham Hotspur; Gareth Southgate, Aston Villa; Rio Ferdinand, West Ham United.

Midfielders:  Steven Gerrard, Liverpool; Keiron Dyer, Newcastle United; Dennis Wise, Chelsea; Nick Barmby, Liverpool; Paul Ince, Middlesbrough; David Beckham, Manchester United; Darren Anderton, Tottenham Hotspur; Steve McManaman, Real Madrid; Paul Scholes, Manchester United.  

Forwards:  Emile Heskey, Liverpool; Michael Owen, Liverpool; Kevin Phillips, Sunderland; Andy Cole, Manchester United.

 Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - Contrary to earlier reports, West Ham United's Rio Ferdinand was pronounced fit and played the full 90 minutes in tonight's 1-0 loss to Leicester City.  It was his first match of the season.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000 - England under-21 team manager Howard Wilkinson named a 22-man squad for the friendly match against Georgia at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough next week.  Following the loss through age of several stars from last season's team--among them Frank Lampard, Lee Bowyer, Jamie Carragher and Richard Wright--the squad includes 10 new names.

Unavailable through long-term injury were Arsenal's Matthew Upson and Newcastle United's Andy Griffin.   Another notable absence from the squad is Derby County defender Seth Johnson, who has started a three-month ban from international football for off-the-field misconduct at the European Under-21 Championship in Slovakia earlier this year.

The full squad:  Paul Robinson, Leeds United, Nicky Weaver, Manchester City, Titus Brambel, Ipswich Town, Wes Brown, Manchester United, Andy Campbell, Middlesbrough, Michael Carrick, West Ham United, Luke Chadwick, Manchester United, Ashley Cole, Arsenal, Joe Cole, West Ham United, David Dunn, Blackburn Rovers, Francis Jeffers, Everton, Lee Naylor, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Adam Newton, West Ham United, Scott Parker, Charlton Athletic, David Prutton, Nottingham Forest, Alan Smith, Leeds United, Tommy Smith, Watford, Robbie Stockdale, Middlesbrough, John Terry, Chelsea, Paul Thirwell, Sunderland, Darius Vassell, Aston Villa, Luke Young, Tottenham Hotspur.  

Monday, August 21, 2000 - Rio Ferdinand will not be available for the match against France September 2.  It was revealed today that he picked up a hip injury in a July 23 pre-season friendly and will not be fit to rejoin West Ham United's first team until mid-September.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2000 ö England remained idle once again during one of the periods set aside for international play while her World Cup qualifying opponents all played friendly fixtures. Germany trounced Spain, England's opponents in a friendly next February, 4-1 in Hanover as England manager Kevin Keegan watched, Greece drew with Switzerland 2-2 in St. Gallen and Finland beat Norway 3-1 in Helsinki.  Last night Albania played a scoreless draw with Cyprus in Tiranö.  France, who will play England in a friendly October 2, beat FIFAös World Stars 5-1 in Marseille.   

Wednesday, August 16, 2000 ö England will play at Villa Park for the first time in 42 years and at Anfield Road for the first time in 70 years.  The Football Association announced that Englandös friendly match against Spain on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 will be played at Aston Villa's Birmingham home and the World Cup qualifier against Finland on Saturday, March 24, 2001 at Liverpool's ground.  Englandös usual home venue, Wembley Stadium, will be closed down for demolition and replacement following the World Cup qualifier against Germany on October 7.

Villa Park has hosted six England matches, the last the 2-2 draw with Wales on November 26, 1958.  Anfield Road has been the venue for five England matches, the last the 3-1 win against Wales on November 18, 1931.  The Finland match at Anfield will be the first World Cup qualifier England have played away from Wembley since the 4-1 win against Luxembourg at Arsenal Stadium on September 28, 1961.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2000 ö Football Association Chairman Geoff Thompson maintained he has full confidence in manager Kevin Keegan following Englandös early exit from the European Championship 2000 final tournament in June.  Thompson said: "I back him all the way. He is the right man for the job and we so much want him to succeed.  There is no question of him being under pressure. This is a new competition and the one he set out for when he first took over.  I have spoken to him and, yes, he was down after Euro 2000. We all were.  But he is bubbling again now and I and everyone at the FA have 100 per cent confidence in him.  It was suggested I recommended that he needed help. That is not true.  He knows we will help him, if he wants it. A successful England side is the most important thing for the FA this season."

Wednesday, August 9, 2000 - England climbed two spots to 13th in FIFA's latest national team ranking although they have not played since the last ranking in July.  The improvement is due to one-rung drops for Mexico and Croatia.  Among England's opponents in the World Cup 2002 qualifying competition, Germany fell two spots to 11th, Greece remained at 31st, Finland dropped three spots to 54th, and Albania stayed at 90th.  England's opposition in friendly matches this season fared considerably better, in line with the Football Association's recently-established policy of scheduling friendlies only against top-flight teams.  September opponent France remained second behind Brazil, a position they are unlikely to improve on because, as World Cup holders, they qualify automatically for World Cup 2002 and thus will not play any point-producing World Cup qualifiers.  November opponent Italy stayed at sixth and February opponent Spain dropped a rung to fifth.

Tuesday, August 8, 2000 -- Midfielder David Batty, 31, 42 caps, is likely to miss the entire season, according to Leeds United manager David OöLeary.  Batty has been out since last November with an Achilles tendon injury that finally required surgery at the start of the close season.  His last appearance for England, in the European Championship 2000 qualifier against Poland in Warsaw in September, ended when he became the eighth England player in history to be sent off.  He sat out the Belgium friendly in October under suspension and was injured by the time England met Scotland in the Euro 2000 playoffs in November.  

Friday, August 4, 2000 -- Liverpool's Robbie Fowler, who injured his left ankle last night in an encounter with the goalkeeper in Liverpool's pre-season friendly against Glentoran in Belfast, will be out of action for four to six weeks after a scan showed he has strained ligaments.  The injury is sure to keep him out of England's friendly against France on September 2 and threatens his chances of joining the England squad for the World Cup 2002 qualifier against Germany on October 7.  Over the past two seasons, Fowler has suffered a serious knee injury and then recurring problems with his left ankle that twice required surgery.  Last season he started only a few matches for Liverpool, but Kevin Keegan still named him to England's Euro 2000 squad.  

Thursday, July 27, 2000 ö Jamie Redknapp, 27, Liverpool, 17 caps, has undergone surgery in the U.S.A. after he broke down in training early last week with yet another recurrence of the cartilage injury in his right knee that plagued him last season.  It is expected he will be out of action for five or six months.   Redknapp underwent a cartilage operation last November, which sidelined him for four months, and while he returned to the Liverpool team before seasonös end, the problem flared up again during Englandös Euro 2000 preparations and kept him out of the squad for that tournament.  After last weekös flare-up, he turned to Dr. Richard Steadman, the Colorado surgeon who performed the successful reconstruction work on Holland forward Ruud van Nistelrooy. Steadman said Redknappös operation was successful.

Monday, July 10, 2000--The Football Association announced England will play Spain in a friendly match on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 at a home venue yet to be determined.  England already have two friendly away matches arranged for the coming season:  against World Cup and European Championship holders France on Saturday, September 2 and, subject to confirmation, European Championship runners-up Italy on Wednesday, November 15.  The meeting with Spain will be the first since the scoreless quarterfinal duel at Wembley Stadium during the 1996 European Championship, when England advanced on penalty kicks after extra time.