Crunch Week For England's Citizens
Joe Hart, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Gareth Barry and Adam Johnson have begun a week of potentially career defining destiny as they don their England training shirts...
England take on Mexico tonight on the Wembley cabbage patch and three of City's players are sure to get at least one half of the game's action. This is going to be a big, big game for them.
After a tremendous season on loan at Birmingham, the spotlight is firmly upon Harty as Fabio Capello continues his quest to find a goalkeeper he can rely upon in South Africa. Capello said:
'It will be really important for him to play because the pressure at Wembley is really, really big. He has played all the games for Birmingham this year and improved a lot. I have confidence in him, like the other two goalkeepers. I have time to decide.'
Johnno meanwhile is lined up to start the game and the quicksilver winger is still in with a chance of making the plane south. Capello:
'He has improved a lot. He is a really, really good player. I selected him because I think he can stay with us. He is young and the World Cup is different. There is the pressure, and the level of the games at the World Cup is really high. I don't know if he will be with us yet, but he can play and his future is with the national team.'
As for the two older players in the sky blue quartet, the anxiety is likely to be much greater. This is SWP's last chance saloon for a World Cup place. His benchwarming at Chelsea ruined his chances in 2006 and this season's erratic form has seen him lose his first team place to Johnson. He needs a big performance tonight to get himself in Capello's thoughts. SWP has roared for City so often when others have fallen away and everyone across Planet Blue will be hoping against hope that our Blueheart will get the biggest nod of his career.
Finally, Gareth Barry, Capello's first choice defensive midfielder will undergo a rigorous fitness test with England tomorrow after a period of intensive treatment in Manchester and it's a straight choice between yes and no for the shrewd England boss:
'Barry is one of the players we want to be fit. If he is fit, he will come with us. If not, he will stay at home.'
All power to our England hopefuls this week from all at Vital Manchester City and beyond!!!
Will Don Fabio take City's Fantastic Four to The World Cup Finals? Have your say both here and in the VMC Forums.
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