Stoke defender Shawcross handed bitter-sweet England call-up

Stoke's Ryan Shawcross (right) challenges Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey at the Brittania Stadium.

Stoke's Ryan Shawcross (right) challenges Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey at the Brittania Stadium.

Fabio Capello handed a surprise call-up to Ryan Shawcross for England's friendly against Egypt just hours after the Stoke defender was sent off in tears during his club's win over Arsenal.

Shawcross was dismissed for a late tackle on Aaron Ramsey at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday that left the Arsenal midfielder with a serious leg injury and the centre-back, who walked off the pitch in tears, was reportedly still crying when he was driven away from the ground by his mother.

On a bitter-sweet day for the former Manchester United trainee, moments later Shawcross learned that Capello has drafted him into the squad for Wednesday's match at Wembley.

Capello and assistant Franco Baldini delayed the announcement of their squad by 40 minutes to have a final discussion about Shawcross' presence after hearing that he had been involved in the incident with Ramsey.

But Shawcross' clear regret over the incident convinced them to go ahead with their plan to pick the 22-year-old.

Shawcross partly owes his place to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand's back injury which has forced the new England captain to miss Sunday's League Cup final against Aston Villa.

He has been a key figure in Stoke establishing themselves in the Premier League over the last two seasons and had never previously been sent off in his short career, which also included a loan spell at Belgian club Royal Antwerp during his time at United.

Capello also called up Arsenal winger Theo Walcott and Aston Villa midfielder Stewart Downing, while there is no place for out-of-form Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole.

With left-back Ashley Cole out with an ankle injury and deputy Wayne Bridge opting out of England duty as a result of John Terry's alleged affair with his ex-partner Vanessa Perroncel, Capello turned to Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock and Everton's Leighton Baines.

Warnock has made one previous England appearance in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago, while Baines has yet to make his debut.

With Terry stripped of the captaincy and Ferdinand absent, it is expected that Steven Gerrard will skipper the team.

The squad

Goalkeepers: James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham), Hart (Birmingham).

Defenders: Brown (Man Utd), Terry (Chelsea), Upson (West Ham), Lescott (Man City), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton), Warnock (Aston Villa).

Midfielders: Milner (Aston Villa), Beckham (Milan), Walcott (Arsenal), Lampard (Chelsea), Barry (Man City), Gerrard (Liverpool), Carrick (Manchester united), Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Downing (Aston Villa)

Strikers: Heskey (Aston Villa), Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Man Utd), Crouch (Tottenham), Cole (West Ham).


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