All information is
complete to and including England's last match, the first of the 2002-03 season,
against Brazil on 21 June 2002.
Wednesday, 10 July 2002
- Eriksson has scrapped plans for a pre-season England friendly on 14
August because of Premiership club opposition, and that a friendly
away match against Portugal on 7 September will be the only match
played before England open their European Championship qualification
campaign away to Slovakia on 12 October.
Tuesday, 30 July 2002 - The Football Association
have officially announced that England will play Portugal on 7
September 2002 in a friendly match, their first of the new season, at Villa Park in Birmingham.
the fixture is to be played in England is a surprise because earlier
news reports had indicated the match would take place in Portugal and
because England have not paid a return visit following Portugal's trip
to Wembley Stadium in April, 1998, when England ran out 3-0 winners.
Portugal are hosts of the European Championship 2004 final tournament,
and an away match there might have been of some value to England.
3 August 2002 -
Alex Ferguson has revealed that Gary
Neville, who missed the World Cup finals with a broken metatarsal
bone, now has muscle problems in the same foot and probably will be
out of action until September. It is unlikely he will return to full
fitness before the Portugal friendly.
15 August 2002 -
revealed Wes Brown fractured his right ankle and he will be out of action
for at least three months, until mid-November, which rules him out of the Portugal friendly
in September and England's first two European Championship qualifying matches against
Slovakia and FYR Macedonia in October. Brown
picked up the injury in Manchester United's first leg European
Champions League qualifying loss to
Tuesday, 20 August
Gary Neville is close to returning to training and hopes to make his
first-team return for Manchester United in two or three weeks after
regaining fitness in reserve team games.
Tuesday, 27 August
incurred an ankle injury in Manchester United's second leg European
Champions League qualifying victory against
Zalaegerszeg, and his club manager Alex Ferguson
announced that he will be sidelined for two weeks, which would rule him
out of the Portugal friendly.
Monday, 2 September 2002 -
Eriksson names a 20-man squad to face Portugal at Villa Park on Saturday.
Just hours after the squad is announced, Sir Bobby Robson pulls Kieron Dyer out
of the squad due to a recurrence of shin splints.
Tuesday, 3 September 2002 -
Eriksson is infuriated as he watches Manchester United 1-0 win over
Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.
Despite being told by
United that Paul Scholes was unfit to play against Portugal, the
England international started in United's
David Beckham also limped off with a calf problem and United withdrew
him from the England squad claiming he has been troubled by the injury
Eriksson has called
up David Dunn, an England U21 captain, into the squad as a replacement
for the injured Kieron Dyer. "I have watched him already this
season for Blackburn and he was very close to being in the original
squad. It will be a good opportunity to work with David and see what
he can do."
Wednesday, 4 September 2002 -
Eriksson decides against bringing in a replacement for David Beckham, and hands
the captaincy to Michael Owen.