Capello’s secret weapon: George Camsell

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Fabio Capello has reacted calmly to England’s injury crisis by recalling George Camsell from the international wilderness – despite the forward’s death 43 years ago.

With Darren Bent having joined Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch and Carlton Cole in the limping queue snaking outside the Three Lions treatment room, Capello has reinvigorated the England career of the long-dead Geordie.

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“They tell me he has scored 18 goals in nine games,” said the Italian. “And you cannot argue with statistics like these.”

Camsell, who played for Durham City and Middlesbrough, last featured for England in 1936 but Capello is not worried about the cadaver’s lack of match practice.

George: "Cross!"

“Look, in Italy we value experience,” said the coach. “He has played at the top level and you don’t lose that quality. To me, if you’re good enough you’re young enough.

“Besides which, he’s got to be fitter than that Michael Owen bloke you keep banging on about.”

While critics have been quick to suggest that Capello’s logic is flawed, would join Brian Barwick in pointing to the Italian’s world-class CV, a trump card that, when played, forbids any kind of criticism of The FA, its employees or their families.

Nevertheless, a nagging sense that the Camsell gamble may not pay off has prompted us to compile a list of other strikers Capello might like to consider.

1. Paolo di Canio
Featured sporting the new England shirt and talking about his Englishness in the new issue of FourFourTwo (on sale now, folks), Di Canio never got to play for Italy. He did, however, get into a fistfight with Capello at AC Milan so would liven up a dressing room that’s spent the week plumbing new depths of sycophancy concerning their “brilliant”, “genius” and “oddly attractive” coach.

"I'll play, but only after tea-time"

2. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
The Football League’s Player of the Year (see the new issue of FourFourTwo, on sale now, folks), the Wolves striker was the Championship’s Golden Boot winner last season and has outscored himself this term. Called up by England U21s, he pulled out through injury so is technically unavailable. But wasn’t Agbonlahor too knacked to play for the U21s too?

3. Kevin Davies/James Beattie

Identikit barrel-chested English target men who rarely look like scoring. Could fill the space vacated by Heskey, then. Asking them to step up to international level might be a stretch, but on the plus side you could probably get away with putting both on the pitch at the same time without anyone noticing.

"No, YOU'RE gonna play for England!"

4.Gary Lineker
He may deny it, but who really believes that Lineker doesn’t wake up every day thinking about what might have been if he hadn’t opted for that chipped penalty against Brazil. Still one goal behind Sir Bobby Charlton in the England scoring charts, Links could be tempted out of the studio for one last hurrah. As long as he gets pens.

5. Michael Owen
Unlikely. Though he has apparently been pencilled in for the friendly against History in June.

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