Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dawson Answers Capello's SOS Call; Swift Selection after Injury to Lions Skipper

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dawson Answers Capello's SOS Call; Swift Selection after Injury to Lions Skipper

Article excerpt

MICHAEL Dawson was just starting to arrange his holidays when he took the "crazy" call that has changed his entire summer, writes SIMON STONE.

Ditched from Fabio Capello's 30-man provisional World Cup squad by phone on Tuesday, if Northallerton-born Dawson had been as quick at filling time as Sunderland's Darren Bent - who was spotted at an NBA play-off game in Los Angeles on Wednesday - the 26-yearold might not be going to South Africa. As it was, he was at home when he got the call to say Rio Ferdinand had picked up an injury in training yesterday morning, and he remained there until he was told a car was on its way and he was flying to South Africa last night.

"It's a crazy game and things can change in a split second," said Dawson.

"One minute I'm trying to arrange my holiday, then I get a call asking if I was on holiday because Rio had pulled out of training.

"I said 'no' and then I was just waiting by the phone before getting a call saying I would be picked up in an hour. It's been a crazy day."

As someone who missed out on the 2008 Carling Cup final victory over Chelsea due to injury, Dawson knows how bad Ferdinand must be feeling.

He is also aware that no end of kind words and attempts to drag the Manchester United man out of his despair will do any good. For Rio to get injured, there would be no worse feeling for him as a player. To miss the biggest tournament in the world as the captain, I feel for him," said Dawson.

"I missed the Carling Cup final in 2008, and there was nothing anyone could have said to me that could have made me feel any better. For Rio, the feeling will be the same." Yet Dawson is acutely aware one man's pain is another's elation. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp claimed the Tottenham defender and Scott Parker had been treated like "ghosts" by Capello in Austria, given neither man played a single minute of the two warm-up games against Mexico and Japan, having never played for the Italian before.

Indeed, Dawson is still to win his first cap. All that could change over the next couple of weeks, though, after an invite to the greatest show on earth. …

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