Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Madrid's Beckham misses out on England team recall


Real Madrid player David Beckham exercises during a training session in Madrid on Monday. England coach Steve McClaren did not name Beckham in his England squad to face Macedonia and Croatia next week.


David Beckham's chances of adding to his tally of 94 caps for England appear extremely slim after head coach Steve McClaren declined the perfect opportunity to recall the 31-year-old.

With an injury to Aaron Lennon reducing McClaren's options on the right of midfield, the Real Madrid star could reasonably have hoped to be included in the squad for the upcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Macedonia and Croatia.

Former skipper Beckham was axed by McClaren after the World Cup but the player has refused to give up hope of resuming his international career.

But McClaren kept the door firmly shut, opting to name a squad without any specialized back-up for Liverpool star Steven Gerrard, who has taken over Beckham's slot on the right of midfield.

There was better news however for Scott Parker whose tenacious displays for Newcastle this season have seen him restored to the national squad for the first time in over two years.

Parker has been drafted into Steve McClaren's squad as a straight swap for Bayern Munich's Owen Hargreaves, who broke a leg earlier this month.

Parker, who has won two caps, has not been involved with the England set-up since being left out of Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for Euro 2004, the Swede having decided that his all-action style was ill-suited to the international game.

"Scott is captain at Newcastle, he's having a very good run in the team, he's playing well and he is a leader," McClaren said. "He is a player who epitomizes what we are all about -- team ethic and a winning attitude."

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder said that Parker fully deserved his recall.

"He is doing what I said he would do, have a better season this year than he did last," Roeder said. "He made a big impression last year with our supporters and the players in the dressing room and, already in a short space of time as the leader of the team, he has created an even bigger and better impression ... As a manager, if they were all like Scott Parker, it would make the job that much easier."

Wayne Rooney returns to the squad after serving a two-match suspension for being sent off in England's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal. Darren Bent makes way to accommodate him.

Gary Neville is also back in the fold, at the expense of Luke Young, while Michael Dawson drops out to allow his Tottenham team-mate Ledley King to return after his recovery from knee surgery.

England are currently top of their Euro 2008 qualifying group after wins over Andorra and Macedonia earlier this month.

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