Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eriksson's Choice Worries Sir Bobby

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eriksson's Choice Worries Sir Bobby

Article excerpt

Former England manager Sir Bobby Robson says he is "worried" by Sven-GUran Eriksson's provisional World Cup squad selection.

Eriksson admitted he only decided yesterday morning to name 17-year-old Arsenal forward Theo Walcott in his provisional 23-man squad while omitting Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent.

Ex-Newcastle boss Robson is concerned about the lack of depth up front with Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen recovering from broken metatarsal bones and Peter Crouch the only fully-fit striker.

Robson, who guided England through the 1986 and 1990 finals, is concerned by Eriksson's gamble.

"I think Defoe, having played quite a bit of Premiership football and doing well with England, would have been first choice over that young boy (Walcott).

"The squad worries me because he (Eriksson) is relying on Owen and Rooney ( our two best strikers of course ( to be fit. There's some doubt about Owen I would think, he has finished the season not playing, so there's some doubt sadly.

"And Rooney is a big risk. If those two don't make it ( and there is a possibility of that ( we're got no strikers but Peter Crouch, so I don't know how he's going to work it. We could be seriously depleted. I'm worried about young Michael. He's got a month to get things right."

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton has urged Robson not to travel to Portugal later this month ( although believes his words will fall on deaf ears.

Robson, appointed the Republic's international football consultant earlier this year and effectively Staunton's right-hand man, was recently given the all-clear following surgery to remove a suspected cancerous growth on his lung.

The egg-sized tumour was discovered when he attended hospital for a routine X-ray and minor operation to repair lung damage caused by a rib injury sustained in a skiing accident in February. …

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