Palmer Retires After World Cup Snub


Palmer: Axed for World Cup


Bill Hack Chief football correspondent 

England midfielder Carlton Palmer has formally retired from international football after his striking omission from Don Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad. 

The former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds midfielder had been hopeful of making the plane to South Africa this summer after Michael Carrick, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker failed to impress. 

But when the FA finally released the names of those to be involved, the veteran holding midfield was not among them. 

Palmer is said to have been ‘mortified’ and flown into a ‘terrifying rage’, taking a baseball bat to his belongings before sobbing uncontrollably into Garth Crooks’ lap. 

Palmer demanded face-to-face talks with England boss Don Fabio. However, the Italian ignored the midfielder’s demands plea, insisting that he had never heard of the 44-year-old favourite of Graham Taylor. 

But he later released a statement that read: “I am naturally disappointed by my omission from the World Cup squad. But I fully respect Don Fabio’s decision and wish the players who will travel the best of luck in South Africa.” 

As predicted on this site on Monday, Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was also omitted from the squad after his request to travel to Disneyland instead. 

Walcott was not available for comment. 

England were permitted to name a 24-man squad compared to their rivals’ 23-man restriction, with FA lawyers successfully arguing that Michael Carrick and Emile Heskey are ‘half the players they should be’. 

The squad announcement was delayed by several hours prompting a shambolic afternoon of speculation, rumour and tweeting. 

The delay, according to the FA, was caused by a faulty battery in Don Fabio’s alarm ‘Simpsons’ clock and a desperate attempt to lure Peter Shilton out of retirement. 

* This story is constructed from fiction.


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