Capello hands Beckham England start

August 12, 2009
By Soccernet Staff

David Beckham was handed his 113th England cap as Fabio Capello opted not to risk Theo Walcott against Holland at the Amsterdam ArenA.

GettyImagesBeckham is dreaming of South Africa 2010

Having already sent Steven Gerrard and Ben Foster back to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, Capello eased the fears of another big-four manager ahead of the Premier League's opening weekend by refusing to pick Walcott, who was unable to train on Wednesday night.

Instead, he handed Beckham the right-wing berth ahead of Shaun Wright-Phillips, proving once again the 34-year-old is likely to be an integral member of his squad for next summer's World Cup in South Africa.

Emile Heskey was declared fit, despite apparently suffering from a minor Achilles problem, leaving the Aston Villa man to partner Wayne Rooney in attack.

Elsewhere, Capello's team was the same as he outlined on Wednesday.

It meant a first start for Ashley Young after five previous substitute appearances, plus a place in goal for Robert Green, who was making his third appearance on the trot after starting the World Cup wins against Kazakhstan and Andorra in June.

After suffering defeats in France and Spain, either side of a memorable win over Germany in Berlin, England were eager to put in a positive performance against a side that has already qualified for the World Cup, knowing their last win in Holland came 40 years ago, when Colin Bell scored the only goal.