Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been handed a surprise England call-up for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia.
The 29 year-old midfielder, who has recovered from a horrific knee injury to feature regularly again in Roy Hodgson’s side, has been included in Fabio Capello’s squad after injuries to Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick. Bullard’s energetic displays for Fulham have clearly caught the England manager’s eye – he was excellent in the narrow home win over Arsenal and scored in midweek as the Whites scraped through in the League Cup against Leicester City.
Bullard, who turned down the chance to qualify for Germany through his grandparents, will join up with the rest of Capello’s squad next week. He was one of Wigan’s leading performances as they impressed everyone during their first season in the top flight before moving to Craven Cottage, but his first season was ravaged by injury after he broke a kneecap in a challenge with Scott Parker at St. James’ Park. Bullard returned to the Fulham side that secured a sensational escape from relegation under Hodgson late last year.
England squad for World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia on September 6 and Septemer 10:
Robinson (Blackburn), James (Portsmouth), Green (West Ham); Lescott (Everton), Bridge (Chelsea), bA Cole (Chelsea), Terry (Chelsea), Brown (Manchester United), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Portsmouth), Upson (West Ham); Barry (Aston Villa), J Cole (Chelsea), Lampard (Chelsea), Bullard (Fulham), Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), Downing (Middlesbrough), Bentley (Tottenham), Jenas (Tottenham); Walcott (Arsenal), Rooney (Manchester United), Defoe (Portsmouth), Heskey (Wigan).