Everton 'keeper tells TheFA.com he sets himself high standards...
Two year ago this month, Sven-Goran Eriksson named his first England squad. Many of the 31 names chosen will hope to be present in the aprty to face Australia next week, including resugent Everton goalkeeper Richard Wright.
Wright and Robbie Fowler share the distinction of having played for three clubs while Eriksson has been in charge.
Fowler was picked as a Liverpool player in the 3-0 victory against Spain, and has subsequently gone to Leeds and Manchester City.
Back in February 2001, Wright was in the middle of helping Ipswich Town to a memorable first season back in the Premiership, when they qualified for the UEFA Cup.
A move to Arsenal helped him improve as a goalkeeper but David Seaman's continued consistency meant a shortage of first-team matches which in turn restricted his international chances.
Now though Wright is back in the public eye as the last line of defence at Everton - and his part in the Blues outstanding season hasn't gone un-noticed.
Not only that, the Suffolk-born goalkeeper is benefiting from being coached at Goodison by former England 'keeper Chris Woods.
"I've been able to sit down with Chris, look at certain things and the manager David Moyes has given us the licence to work at the things we want to concentrate on," he told TheFA.com.
"I was convinced Everton was the right move for me from the moment I've started and the number of clean sheets we've had reflects well on me. England is something I have always targeted and I know if I play well at a club like Everton, I will be in the England manager's thoughts and the opportunity will come."
If Wright is selected in the squad and then sees some action against Australia at Upton Park, it will mean his first three caps have come with three different clubs.
His debut in 2000 under Kevin Keegan came as an Ipswich player and his second outing as sub in Holland was during his time at Arsenal. A move to Everton from the champions may have been seen as a backward step by some but Wright isn't surprised by the Merseysiders top-six showing this season.
"Everyone expected us to be struggling but when I was at Ipswich, people were saying we were relegation fodder before a ball had been kicked and we ended up qualifying for Europe," he explains.
"It is all about setting high standards. Don't be content with mediocrity, always try to perform and progress. If you do that, you can't go too far wrong."
When Sven arrived, he said he wanted to give the younger generation a chance, which is why so many of the Spain squad are still in his plans. Ashley Cole, David James, Rio Ferdinand, Emile Heskey, Michael Owen, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Paul Scholes, Kieron Dyer, Sol Campbell, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard were all on duty at Villa Park two years ago and are still very much around now.
So is David Seaman although he has been used sparingly in friendly games. But of course some have slipped by the wayside in the subsequent two years for a variety of reasons. Michael Ball and Nicky Barmby have suffered badly from injuries, Barmby didn't even go to the World Cup despite playing in the 5-1 victory in Germany in October 2001.
Incidentally, he scored the opening goal against Spain - the first of the Sven era.
At the time, Ball played for Everton and Barmby for Liverpool - both have had transfers since and are due a change of luck, Ball at Glasgow Rangers and Barmby with Terry Venables at Leeds.
Strikers Andy Cole and Kevin Phillips also missed out on the World Cup, in fact Sunderland striker Phillips was not included in Eriksson's second squad, for the World Cup qualifiers against Finland and Albania in the spring of 2001.
Cole scored his first international goal in Tirana but was suspended after that and hasn't been able to fight his way back into contention since, announcing in 2002 he was retiring from international football. Chris Powell made his England debut under Sven against Spain.
His inclusion raised a few eyebrows but he remained a regular member of the squad for a year before being surpassed by Wayne Bridge. If age counted against him, it could also be said that Teddy Sheringham, Nigel Martyn - who is not in the Leeds first-team anymore - and Steve McMananman are not heavily fancied to feature in this weekend's squad announcement.
Martyn's fall has been dramatic, he saved a penalty from Javi Moreno against Spain, when England's other goals were scored by Heskey and Ugo Ehiogu.
DID YOU KNOW: Six of Sven's first squad were left out when England played their first competitive games under the new manager, against Finland and Albania.
Kevin Phillips, Ugo Ehiogu and Ray Parlour were dropped, Michael Ball was named for the under-21s and Kieron Dyer and Nicky Barmby were injured. The only player drafted in was Steven Gerrard, who was injured for the Spain game.
SVEN'S FIRST GAME (3-0 v Spain, Feb 2001)
Michael Ball, Nick Barmby, David Beckham, Wes Brown, Nicky Butt, Sol Campbell, Jamie Carragher, Michael Carrick, Andy Cole, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole, Kieron Dyer, Ugo Ehiogu, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Emile Heskey, David James, Frank Lampard, Steve McManaman, Gavin McCann, Nigel Martyn, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Michael Owen, Ray Parlour, Kevin Phillips, Chris Powell, Paul Scholes, David Seaman, Teddy Sheringham, Richard Wright
THE STARTING XI:
James: P Neville, Ferdinand, Campbell, Powell; Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Barmby; Andy Cole, Owen THE SCORERS: Barmby, Heskey, Ehiogu
By Joe Bernstein
TheFA.com will exclusively announce the England squad on Saturday night