England squad shrunk dramatically!

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The England squad has been shrunk dramatically. As the picture below shows, the players are now barely larger than a match ticket. Even Peter Crouch only just peeps over the top of it, while Shaun Wright-Phillips is barely visible to the naked eye.

What happened here? Has training in the Austrian Alps somehow transformed the Large Hadron Collider into a Debigulator? Has Fabio Capello so successfully reversed England's reliance upon "big lads" that the pre-match anthem will change from God Save The Queen to It's A Small World After All? Or did Crouchy's "dream of being a dwarf" come true?

INTERVIEW Crouch: "I dreamed of becoming a dwarf"

No, course not. It's publicity for the Tickets For Troops initiative, under which the members of the armed forces get free tickets to sport and music events.

The FA have chipped in by making next Monday's Wembley friendly against Mexico 'the Tickets For Troop International', dedicating it to those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and donating 1,000 tickets so servicemen and women and their families can see England's last home game before the World Cup.

The move has been backed by footballers regularly, if embarrassingly in this circumstance, described as brave. “We want the Armed Forces to have the recognition and support they fully deserve," said former captain John Terry. "They are the people who are putting their lives on the line for us and are the true heroes.

“We know so many of them will be cheering us on in the World Cup wherever they are. We truly appreciate that and are privileged to be able to show our respect at our final home game before we head off to South Africa.”

His predecessor Alan Shearer – patron of the Tickets For Troops charity – chips in: "It’s fantastic that the FA and England players have decided to support us in this way. Tickets for troops is a simple way to give something back and recognise what a great job our troops do around the world on our behalf."

We couldn't agree more. There's a minute's applause before Monday's Wembley game – so the troops can expect a big hand from the little men.

MORE INFO Tickets For Troops
Crouch: "I dreamed of becoming a dwarf"

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