David James is England's No. 1
England coach Fabio Capello looks to have finally settled on his World Cup goalkeeper after handing David James the No. 1 jersey to wear in South Africa.
The 39-year-old James, who arrived with the 23-man squad in Johannesburg on Thursday, has been hampered by injury problems and only made his first international start in 13 months in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Japan in a friendly.
Capello appears to have gone with experience by favoring the 50-match veteran James, who was first-choice 'keeper at the 2004 European Championship, but lost his place to Paul Robinson at the 2006 World Cup. James, though, will be reading nothing into the squad numbering.
"For every qualifying match that I've started, it's not until the team sheet has been lifted that you're guaranteed to be playing," he said.
If the squad numbering does reflect Capello's preferences, it would be a blow for West Ham's Robert Green who has started eight of the past 11 England matches and now has to settle for No. 12. Manchester City's Joe Hart is the third 'keeper.
Up front, striker Peter Crouch has struggled for starts under Capello despite scoring 21 goals in 38 appearances in his England career.
But the towering Tottenham player, who led the England squad off its plane at the O.R. Tambo airport, will wear the No. 9 shirt-potentially making him Wayne Rooney's partner up front.
No. 21 Emile Heskey, who has been a mainstay in the starting lineup throughout qualifying but has struggled recently with Aston Villa, would therefore be looking at a place on the bench.
If the 1-11 choices form Capello's lineup for the June 12 opener against the United States in Rustenburg, captain Rio Ferdinand would be at the heart of the defence alongside Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole and John Terry as expected. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Aaron Lennon and Joe Cole would occupy the midfield spots.
The squad was greeted by Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, who is king of the Bafokeng tribe, as it arrived at its World Cup base at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus, near Rustenburg in North West Province.
"I hope the World Cup will be a big success for South Africa and also for my team," Capello said after arriving in the country. "Thank you, it's good to be here."