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By Jonathan Stevenson
1630: What a rollercoaster - the next deadline day has got a lot to live up to, that's for sure. I expect the next time I see you will be a week on Friday, when the 19th edition of the world's greatest competition gets under way in South Africa. Good luck sleeping. Totsiens.
1629: PWC have released a statement saying it has reached an agreement in principle with CPFC2010 in relation to the stadium. This allows the consortium to go ahead with the purchase of the football club and the ground. Great news for Palace fans, and football fans in general too.
From EddieXdwardo on Twitter:
"The England World Cup squad looks amazingly strong, but can they finally become more than the sum of their parts?"
1626: By the way, does anyone have a photo of themselves with England World Cup squad member Stephen Warnock? If so, why not
get stuck in to our World Cup Photo Album?
Give SW double reason to be delighted today.
1624: The people have spoken, and the people are not amused. Your reaction to the England squad seems to be one of confusion. Me? I'm cautiously optimistic. Most successful World Cup campaigns start shakily, so let's hope England are no exception.
Former England captain Alan Shearer: "Fabio Capello said some months ago that, to make it into his World Cup squad, players would have to be in form and playing regularly for for their clubs. Joe Cole and Emile Heskey are not, but I can understand why he has picked them because he has gone for tried and trusted players in his squad. What are our prospects? Any team who wins this World Cup will need a bit of luck - England will need a little bit more. But if decisions go our way, and we keep our main XI fit, then we will have a decent chance."
From Adam, Derby, via text to 81111: "England's defence has a very Terry Butcher feel to it, and we're going to need that. It's the best England squad for some time, but we're going to have to play some very sensible football." Best England squad for some time? Really? Can't agree.
From Pete, Cambridge, via text to 81111: "No wildcard, no left winger, no surprise. Same old predictable England. Picking players on form? Pah."
BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle: "A few of the players left out - the likes of Dawson, Parker - have had really good seasons but not been around the England squad enough and probably paid the price for that."
1609: So there it is, in black and white - England's 23-man squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Do you reckon it was worth a little wait? More importantly, do you think they can win the competition?
1606: Theo Walcott says he was "very disappointed" to miss out on a place in England's World Cup squad and added: "I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament." What a brilliant reaction, bless him.
BBC Radio 5 live's Mike Ingham: "Theo Walcott has had a worrying time of late. He seems to have had a lot of confidence taken out of his game recently and despite that hat-trick in Croatia he's out."
ENGLAND'S 2010 WORLD CUP SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Joe Hart, David James, Robert Green. Defenders: Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock Midfielders: Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips. Forwards: Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney
1600: Breaking news: The seven England players to miss out on a World Cup place are: Leighton Baines, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott, Darren Bent.
From RichtheForest on 606:
"I think this must be harder for Dawson and Parker than for players that didn't make the squad in the first place. They didn't play a single minute in the friendlies and despite their excellent club form they're being left at home to watch players like Upson and Heskey play. Seems unfair to me."
From Concertjock, via text to 81111: "Cannot believe that we will be taking out-of-form Upson over in-form Dawson, international experience or not."
1538: The Italians' criticism of the Jabulani ball is relentless. Here's keeper Gianluigi Buffon: "I noticed the first day that this ball wasn't right. The World Cup brings together the best players in the world and to those players you must provide something decent. The new ball is not decent." That after striker Giampaolo Pazzini described it as a "disaster" for strikers.
are leaving their squad announcement until later, and
are going to leave it until the last minute for the 2300 BST deadline. Their coach Joachim Loew needs to cull only one player from their now 24-man squad after injuries ruled out Michael Ballack, Christian Traesch and Heiko Westermann. "Dropping one player is brutal," said Low.
1531: So we're 100% sure on Theo Walcott and Scott Parker, and pretty sure on Leighton Baines, Adam Johnson and Darren Bent. Just waiting for Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson confirmation now. Full squad announced at 1600 BST, remember.
From chrisbevan_bbc on Twitter:
"Just had it confirmed to me that Scott Parker is one of the remaining England players to miss out on a place in the World Cup squad."
1525: Sky sources are now claiming they have all seven. They think Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker will join Leighton Baines, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and Darren Bent in missing out.
From luket77 on 606:
"Long may the farce continue. It's been a welcome distraction from work. However - Adam Johnson has to go over SWP considering he took his place at club level, so has been playing consistently and performing, and Dawson has been the standout defender over King. Take both. They deserve it."
1521: If you are worried about the FA website being down at 1600 BST, stay here. We'll be breaking news of the seven England players missing out on the World Cup as soon as it is humanly possible.
England legend John Barnes: "I think the most important thing about this World Cup is that the whole nation - in terms of the fans, the press, the whole country - is convinced that Fabio is the man for the job."
From thoraximus on Twitter:
"It's all down to you, the FA website has crashed - too much traffic. No pressure Stevo!" Altogether now: Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh
1512: Our friends at Infostrada Sports inform us that Daniel Yeboah from ASEC Mimosas is the first domestic player ever to be picked for an Ivory Coast World Cup squad. Have some of that, chat fans.
1507: Shall I update you on where we are with the speculation? OK, here goes: Those tipped to be missing out so far are Leighton Baines, Tom Huddlestone, Theo Walcott, Adam Johnson and Darren Bent. If they are all right (and it's a medium-sized 'if'), that means there are two more - and they could be Michael Dawson and Scott Parker.
1502: The England squad will be announced on the FA's website at 1600 BST. That is the first official confirmation of anything we've had all day.
1459: Australia are of course in a World Cup group with Germany, Serbia and Ghana. Thanks for pointing my error out, a couple (of million) of you.
1458: We're either two minutes away, or we're not. Are you furiously pressing refresh on the FA's website? Good.
From Frankie boy, via text to 81111: "With so much speculation, can we all calm down and remember that we have trusted Capello this far, let's not start squabbling now and just support the 23 he picks and focus on beating the United States."
1453: Pre-World Cup friendly result: Australia 1-0 Denmark. A 71st-minute goal from Josh Kennedy proved enough for the Aussies at the Ruimsig Stadium, Roodepoort. They are in a potentially terrifying group with Germany, Serbia and Ghana.
1451: A lot of you are worried about
Crystal Palace and their very serious threat of liquidation
and it's impossible not to share your concerns. Here's the latest quote from Brendan Guilfoyle, the administrator put in charge of the Eagles in January: "I've already made the calls [to other clubs]. What I'll actually do after the [1500 BST] deadline is start selling players. The enquiries are out, offers have been received. There are a number of players who have value but once they're sold and if no-one else comes in then I'll have to resign, walk away and then the liquidation process will re-start."
From henrywinter on Twitter:
"Capello's been odd recently... the Index, the contract... but Walcott decision is correct. It'll grab the headlines but no criticism here."
1444: I hope you lot are this lively when the World Cup action starts for real in a few days' time. Fabulous effort so far so keep getting in touch via the usual methods - and remember, we don't all have to agree.
From paddyohale on 606:
"Wouldn't it have been far easier to have all 30 prospective squad players at the England base this morning and let them know as a group who was in? It's not like they are out doing anything important today, is it?"
1438: BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan reckons the inclusion of Ledley King means an omission for his Tottenham team-mate Michael Dawson.
1436: To confirm, we haven't been told by the Football Association that the official announcement will be made at 1500 BST, we have just heard the rumour flying around that it will be then.
From David, Cambridge, via text to 81111: "Do all other countries go through all this pfaff when they name their squads? Why is it our country loves so much speculation?"
1428: Meanwhile in the world of actual things happening that we definitely know about, brilliant young
Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey has signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal.
Great news for the 19-year-old after his horrific leg break in February. "Every player wants to play in a team where they can play football and I feel that this is the way it should be played, so that's one of the reasons I signed a new contract," said Ramsey.
1422: Ledley King is understood to be in the England World Cup squad, while sources suggest Tom Huddlestone has missed out on a place. You're loving it, aren't you?
From Fish, Worthing, via text to 81111: "I'm caught between being appalled by the nature of the announcement and being genuinely enthralled by the fun of it all."
1418: Hmm. Sky reckon Ledley King is on the plane too.
1402: The only time I've heard all day for an official announcement is 1500 BST, so we may be under an hour away from a conclusion to this farce.
1359: On BBC Radio 5 live and elsewhere, they are playfully speculating that the delay to the official England squad announcement may be because Fabio Capello cannot get through to one of the players. He did say he'd tell the seven unlucky ones before making it public, so there might be some truth in that.
From thefadotcom on Twitter:
"Plenty of speculation about England squad, but rest assured this and TheFA.com will be the first place you hear confirmation of final 23."
1353: Let's switch country focus for a moment, if I may be so bold.
coach Sven-Goran Eriksson named his final 23-man World Cup squad, dropping Marseille striker Bakari Kone and West Bromwich defender Abdoulaye Meite. And no, there were no shock inclusions for any 17-year-olds who had barely played a first-team game, before you ask.
From Bublot, Oxford, via text to 81111: "Don't be ridiculous Jonathan, this is theatre of the highest order! We've all abandoned the day's finals revision for this."
From Joanna, London, via text to 81111: "Re 1341 - agreed, this just isn't cricket."
1346: According to
Leighton Baines, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker and Michael Dawson will join Theo Walcott, Darren Bent and Adam Johnson as the seven not going to South Africa. Transfer deadline day ain't got nothing on this. It's carnage.
1341: Oh for crying out loud. I love Fabio, but this has gone on way too long - and according to
the official announcement won't be until 1500 BST now. It's frankly a shambolic and unacceptable way for England's World Cup campaign to begin.
1338: Seems fairly certain now that Stephen Warnock has got the nod at left-back over Leighton Baines. Meanwhile, Shaun Wright-Phillips has texted Manchester City to tell them he is in the England squad.
1337: That would be an astonishing story. Michael Dawson, captain of Nottingham Forest when he was 19-years-old, has never played for England. Ever.
BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan: "People close to Theo Walcott are in shock. He was so excited about the prospect of going to South Africa."
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"Informed sources round up so far. Baines, Bent, A. Johnson, Walcott out. Joe Cole, SWP, Carrick & Warnock (presumably) in."
1329: England update: Theo Walcott is out, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick are rumoured to be in. Darren Bent and Adam Johnson are also thought to have been culled, while
on Twitter reckons Shaun Wright-Phillips is definitely in too.
1327: This from the
"Fabio Capello has already made his decisions over who to take to South Africa and who to leave behind and is thought to be personally calling all seven players who will be disappointed. It means the official announcement on the squad, which was set to be made this morning, has been put back until later on this afternoon."
1321: Got to agree with Adam in Corby, below. This is a most unsatisfying resolution to quite an important announcement. We're still waiting on the names of four of the England players who will not be travelling to South Africa.
From Oliver Holt at the Mirror on Walcott: "He received a phone call from Capello this morning while he was on the golf course and told the bad news of his surprise omission."
From Adam in Corby, via text to 81111: "What a pathetic way to find this all out, with it dripping through from various journos. Just make the official announcement FA!"
1315: Where are we: At this moment in time, Adam Johnson, Theo Walcott and Darren Bent are the players to miss out. That means we're still waiting for four names.
1313: BBC Radio 5 live reckon Joe Cole is in the England squad.
1311: We can confirm that Theo Walcott has been omitted by Fabio Capello. Meanwhile the plot thickens below as the Northern Echo suggest Manchester City winger Adam Johnson is not in the squad either, while NOTW's Neil Ashton is now saying Shaun Wright-Phillips has made the final 23.
From Luxinho on 606:
"Just think Stevo... if every manager had taken a leaf out of Dunga's book, right about now you would be sitting at home with a nice cup of tea and The World Cup Greatest Goals video on the telly instead of apologising about coding ineptitude." Wouldn't be as much fun though, would it...?
1250: If that Darren Bent story is true and if Fabio Capello is working his way through the players positionally, then we're desperately close to an official announcement. If he's doing it alphabetically, we're not even remotely near. Is this the most uselessly speculative entry yet?
they're so consummately professional, aren't they? Here's Xabi Alonso's take on the new ball: "The ball is different but little by little, we are getting accustomed to it. It has different characteristics, but you get a feel for the touch and its trajectory."
From rjwilliams88 on Twitter:
"Is it also today when Capello announces the squad numbers? Could be even more intriguing than the identity of the 23."
1240: Sky sources are suggesting Darren Bent has been told he is not going to South Africa. More on that when we get it.
1239: His team are playing and the 31-year-old Australian is involved, so there must be a Harry Kewell injury story somewhere. Ah,
here it is.
From James, Cambridge, via text to 81111: "Anyone would think that without Barry we won't win it. He's had an average season and if Hargreaves was fit he wouldn't even be considered."
1233: Can you manually refresh? I kind of got some coding wrong at 1231 and it looks a bit silly. I'm just over-excited, that's all. Only BLANK minutes to go now...
1227: The holders
are set to delay naming their 23-man squad until this evening. Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini looks set to get the nod after completing his first pre-World Cup training session this morning.
From sb1111 on 606:
"Rooney's last 10 England games with Heskey - 9 goals. Rooney's last 10 England games without Heskey - 2 goals."
1220: "Gareth Barry is a very important player for England so let's hope the reports are true and he's fit," says John Barnes on Sky Sports. "England won't have as much possession as some of the better teams, so Gareth is crucial in protecting the back four."
1218: Apparently, Adidas are shocked at criticism of the World Cup ball - the so-called Jabulani, the world's first perfectly round football (wonder what shape the others were). Players have been queuing up to call it rubbish, but
Adidas have hit back at the comments.
This happens before every World Cup, right?
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"Has there ever been a striker who is cut so much slack - not many goals not a regular at club level - as Heskey when it comes to England?"
From Dan, Peterborough, via text to 81111: "Capello has to take all five strikers. They all offer something different to the team, and it's an area where if we pick up a few injuries we will be short otherwise."
1208: Almost certain to be a day of mixed fortunes for the Terry family, with John to be named in England's squad but dad Ted sentenced at Basildon Crown Court to a suspended prison term of six months after admitting supplying cocaine to an undercover newspaper reporter.
1205: Does anyone else feel like we're teetering on the brink of the England World Cup squad announcement?
From MU-18-CC on 606:
"Who cares who the last few players in the squad are? Fact is, if Capello can't decide whether they should be in the squad, they've got little chance of making the starting XI or having big impacts in games."
1158: It's official: the Emile Heskey v Darren Bent debate is the hottest chat going on today. I reckon you lot seem pretty 50-50 about it too, which means equal amounts of people will be praising Capello to the high heavens/slaughtering the FA's decision to appoint the Italian when the squad is announced. I can hardly wait.
1147: Euro 2004 champions Greece,
to give them their full title, have just announced their squad. Some stand-out names include Socrates Papastathopoulos, Liverpool defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos and Celtic striker Giorgos Samaras.
From Hose, Windsor, via text to 81111: "Darren Bent, 24 league goals in a mediocre team. Heskey, three league goals. Why is there even a debate? We cannot afford to play a non-scoring striker..."
South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira: "The mission of our boys is to make this country proud. And the goal, the goal is to go as far as we can in the World Cup. That's it. Once the ball moves, anything can happen. Everyone knows our group is a tough one. But we are ready."
BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan: "The BBC understands that the initial fitness test on Gareth Barry was positive and that he looks good to be passed fit to travel to South Africa."
1111: The Football Association is keeping very, very quiet. We believe it will be around lunchtime that the England squad will be announced, but we cannot narrow it down any more than that. What times we live in.
1108: "In the squads I've been in before the managers have always done it face-to-face, so Fabio phoning the players up to tell them adds a different twist to it," says former England defender Gareth Southgate on Sky Sports.
1055: Insert your own pun in here: Wolves have signed Belgium international Jelle Van Damme for an undisclosed fee from Anderlecht, the club have confirmed. Belgium, next World Cup - that's my long-range long-shot punt.
From Matt_Utd_FC on 606:
"Our full-backs are the problem position. Baines showed against Mexico that we really don't want Cole to get injured and Carragher as replacement right-back is a joke. As replacement centre-back yes, definitely, but he's a poor right-back. Would rather have Neville (either) or Wes Brown who at least play there regularly. Just have to hope Johnson and Cole stay fit throughout."
1049: Now we've got the
squad. Former Middlesbrough frontman Lee Dong-gook is included despite an injury scare, along with Manchester United's Park Ji-sung, Bolton's Lee Chung-yong, Monaco striker Park Chu-young and Celtic's Ki Sung-yong. Brilliantly, 2002 hero Ahn Jung-hwan is also in the squad. On Wednesday, you'll be able to read my blog on that World Cup, including exclusive chat from Ahn himself. Get in.
From Spofforth on Twitter:
"Emile Heskey, striker, 58 caps 7 goals. Rene Higuita, keeper, 68 caps 8 goals. Jose Luis Chilavert, keeper, 74 caps 8 goals..."
1042: Squads flying in from all over the place now, aren't they?
have named Europe-based quartet Makoto Hasebe, Keisuke Honda, Daisuke Matsui and Takayuki Morimoto, along with ex-Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura, in their 23.
1039: England's opening opponents,
the United States (who they play on 12 June),
arrived in Johannesburg on Monday night following a 17-hour flight. They were greeted on arrival in South Africa, like other teams, by armed special taskforce guards. "It will be a tough group and we are looking forward to it," said US coach Bob Bradley.
England World Cup legend Geoff Hurst:
"Emile Heskey hasn't played all year and hasn't scored goals, whereas Darren Bent has played all season and scored 25 goals - so if you're picking on form, it'd have to be Bent. I don't think that'll happen, but it's my opinion."
1032: The news is... there is no news. England are playing things very close to their chest today, with no reports about Gareth Barry's fitness test whatsoever. We might need to be patient, can you do that for me?
From Daniel Quilmes, via text to 81111: "My girlfriend works at Fulham and she says they had the FA on the phone yesterday asking about the fitness of Bobby Zamora - let's hope Fabio does a U-turn."
1022: There's a massive wave of support for Manchester City winger Adam Johnson. I agree he should be included - I'd take him with Joe Cole and leave Theo Walcott and Shaun Wright-Phillips at home. The Cole OR Johnson argument is nonsense.
1020:Speaking of the World Cup hosts (see 0949),
they have been warming up nicely with a 5-0 win over Guatemala in Polokwane on Monday. It was their best result since their international return in 1992 and also saw captain Aaron Mokoena become the first South African to reach 100 caps.
From cowboymartin on 606:
"Here's your first proper scoop of the day. My Mrs works at Heathrow airport and Theo Walcott has just checked in with his girlfriend. They are off to the Caribbean, NOT South Africa. That's him out then."
have included recently injured strikers Filip Holosko and Robert Vittek in their final 23-man World Cup squad, which also includes Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel.
1003: The rumour mill has quite literally gone into overdrive - keep the chat coming, because we might be here for the long haul. If you want to know how some players feel on a day like today, I suggest you
read Chris Bevan's blog on the 1998 World Cup.
There's some Gazza gold in there, sadly.
1000: How long does a World Cup fitness test last, I wonder. Gareth Barry's was supposed to start at 0900 BST, so it may be all over by now. The 29-year-old's World Cup future could have already been decided. Don't go anywhere.
From philmcnulty on Twitter:
"Baines was desperately poor against Mexico. Would still be major surprise if Capello picked Warnock after leaving him out of friendlies... David Sullivan hoped Benni McCarthy would play at WC so he could shed some weight. Will have to think of something else after exclusion."
0957: Remember, quite a few countries are going to name their World Cup squads today so it's not all about England. Apparently the Fifa deadline is 2300 BST - but if you're reading Fabio (he might be), please don't leave us hanging for that long.
0955: World Cup snapshot: Multiplex cinemas in South Korea will broadcast their team's World Cup matches live in 3-D in an attempt to lure supporters away from their televisions at home. Around 100 cinema screens across the country, which showed games for free in 2002 when South Korea co-hosted the World Cup with Japan, will be used - although fans will have to pay this time round.
From worldcupmotty on Twitter:
"Here are the seven players I think will not make England's 23: Dawson, Warnock, Parker, King, Huddlestone, Carrick and Walcott.
0949: Some news just in: hosts South Africa, who kick the competition off in Johannesburg against Mexico in only 10 days time (oh my), have dropped all-time record scorer Benni McCarthy from their 23-man finals squad. Everton's Steven Pienaar is of course in.
From Chris in Brighton, via text to 81111: "Walcott under-performed in the friendlies, plus Wright-Phillips was played on the left against Japan, so I reckon SWP will make it with Huddlestone to miss out. I have World Cup fever so much it hurts."
0944: There's our daily
World Cup 2010 round-up
for your delectation as well, including Tom Cruise (some actor fella, not the young Arsenal left-back) suggesting his best mate David Beckham will be playing at the next World Cup. When he's 39 years of age. You've got to love that guy.
0940: The three goalkeepers aren't up for discussion - they will be David James, Rob Green and Joe Hart. Quite who the number one will be in SA is anyone's guess, though. Here's 125-cap legend Peter Shilton with his thoughts: "Robert Green deserves a chance. I would think he has his nose in front. He has matured over the last year and made some great saves in the friendly against Mexico." Job done.
From Bboy on 606:
"Am I the only one thinking Capello may spring a surprise by including someone not in the original 30? My best bet is that the poor defensive display by Glen Johnson coupled with the neutered attacking display by Jamie Carragher has got him worried about his right-back options. Neville or Brown, anyone?"
0933: If you manually refresh your page (come on, you've had three whole days off), you'll see the BBC's trailer for the World Cup at the top. Now if that doesn't get you in the mood...
0930: Stevo's Predo: Michael Dawson, Stephen Warnock, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Darren Bent.
From Pete in Croydon, via text to 81111: "What are you going to do if Fabio waits until 3 o'clock?" Look increasingly ridiculous?
0921: Quite a bit of paper chat that Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock, despite not playing a single minute in England's two friendlies,
is set to get the nod ahead of Everton's Leighton Baines
as left-back cover for Ashley Cole. Can't say I agree with that, but it probably won't make too much difference.
0912: So, of the 30 men that were together with England for the last couple of weeks or so, seven are going to get ditched today via a telephone call from Fabio Capello. Call me old-fashioned, but I thought players always found out stuff like this on Ceefax.
0907: Non-sport has never been more tense. Exciting, isn't it? Though probably not for Gareth Barry.
0900: Right now, Gareth Barry's World Cup future hangs in the balance. The Manchester City midfielder is expected to start a fitness test that will determine whether he can be part of Fabio Capello's 23-man England squad that travels to South Africa for the greatest tournament on earth. Sometime after, though we don't know exactly when, we will know the names of the chosen ones.
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