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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Alan Shearer column
Alan Shearer
By Alan Shearer
Match of the Day pundit

Every time you pull on an England shirt you want to get a result and this Wednesday will be no different for Steve McClaren's men.

With two vital Euro 2008 qualifiers coming up, the friendly against Germany at Wembley is not as important as it could be.

By the looks of it, McClaren's team is going to be savaged by injuries, which is often the case in friendlies.

Michael Owen
Michael Owen has been struggling with injury
He will be missing a few key members but there is no such thing as an unimportant England game.

Once you are out there it is a game you have to try to win and the players will be taking it seriously.

Winning is a great habit - it breeds confidence so England will be looking to get the right result.

These friendly games so early in the season are not to everyone's liking but there are arguments for and against.

One or two new players will play at some stage so there will be a chance for the coach to look at them.

There will also be games for injured players coming back, the likes of John Terry and Michael Owen and maybe one or two others.

So from those points of view it will be a useful exercise - but I bet McClaren will be very frustrated by all the injuries and the players who are missing.

With two qualifying games just around the corner there is a chance for everyone to get back in the swing of things, with England having not been together for a while.

But with the games coming thick and fast early on in the Premier League - a lot of players turned out on Sunday who will be involved on Wednesday - it is unhelpful from that point of view.

McClaren and a lot of Premier League managers will certainly not want any more injuries.

One player who will be missing is Jamie Carragher, who has opted to make himself unavailable for England.


I did the same thing at 29 and definitely felt the benefit so I can understand his decision.

In an ideal world, you want to continue playing for both club and country but it is very difficult.

He was not a regular in the England team so I can see why he has decided to concentrate on his Liverpool career.

Carragher's absence will give someone else an opportunity and I think McClaren might play Micah Richards in the centre of defence.

He has started the season fantastically well, he is a great talent, a real athlete, and is in great shape.

It would be nice to see him in an England shirt on Wednesday as he has got a great future ahead of him.

Steven Taylor's call-up is good for the player and it is also a boost for Newcastle that he has got the recognition.

Whether he plays or not, it is just great to be involved and in the manager's thought process.

  • Alan Shearer was talking to Saj Chowdhury

    Pick your England XI
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    Trio pull out of England friendly
    20 Aug 07 |  Internationals
    McClaren view disappoints League
    19 Aug 07 |  Football
    Campbell out of England friendly
    18 Aug 07 |  Internationals


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