Date: 19th August 2008 at 4:57pm
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Gabby Agbonlahor and Craig Gardner are hoping to impress in tonights England friendly against Slovenia at Hull’s KC Stadium.

The pair are in Stuart Pearce’s squad for the first friendly of the season and both are hoping to cement their places in the U21 team for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers.

Gabby also, as we know, has the second aim of catching Fabio Capello’s eye and making him regret not picking him for the full squad this time round.

Speaking on the official site, Gabby said:

‘It is obviously disappointing not to be selected (for the full squad) and you want to be playing for your country.

‘But if Mr Capello doesn’t put you in the squad then we have to go out, like on Sunday, and prove him wrong – and I think we (myself and Ashley Young) did that.

‘That is all you can do really. All we can do is play good football for our clubs. It is out of our hands whether or not we are selected.

‘Mr Capello does come to Villa quite a lot and I am not going to give up. We have just got to keep doing the business for our club. That is all we can do. Then if he doesn’t want to pick us, he doesn’t want to pick us.

‘But I want to play for my country. I’ve played for the under-21s and I want to be in the full squad, I want to get on the pitch and play and hopefully I can do that. But, at the moment, all I can do is my best for Villa and, if I get picked, I get picked.’

With the notable ommissions from the England squad, and dare I say the pointless inclusions of others, you have to hope Capello is simply seeing his options first hand and not judging players on their past failings in the England shirt.

Quite why he feels the need to pick players who simply aren’t good enough for our Country and who have proved such in previous years is beyond me though. Aren’t friendlies designed to test new blood and give experience to young hopefuls….not give an extra cap to crocked defenders and donkey strikers?