Villa winger Milner chasing down Beckham

Aston Villa winger James Milner is chasing David Beckham's England place.

Aston Villa winger James Milner is chasing David Beckham's England place.

There is a strong perception that Beckham is virtually guaranteed a spot in Fabio Capello's plans for South Africa despite playing only a bit part role as a substitute during most of the qualifying campaign.

But Milner is confident that the manager will pick players on merit as he battles with the likes of Beckham, Aaron Lennon and Shaun Wright-Phillips although being versatile may help the Aston Villa winger.

He said: "Do I get the impression Beckham is nailed on for the World Cup? I don't know. The only thing I can control is myself. That is all I can do. The World Cup is massive, with a lot of media coverage good and bad, and as a player I just try and concentrate on what I can control and that's on the field and let everything else take care of itself.

"Will Capello give me as much chance as Beckham of getting into the squad? You would like to think so. He has proved that in selections before. He will play the players on merit and on form. We want to take the best possible squad to a World Cup and it is a good thing that the manager will hopefully have difficult decisions to take.

"If he knows his squad already, it is too easy for him and not a good thing so the more pressure you can put on the manager to have difficult decisions to make, the better it is for England. You want everyone to have a level playing field and an equal chance to get into the team and get a chance to prove who should be in the squad."

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