Curtis Davies was shocked when he got the call to join up with the England squad for the recent friendly in Germany but the Aston Villa defender knows he must continue his good form in the Premier League if he is to be a regular fixture in Fabio Capello’s squad.
The 23-year-old has forced his way into Villa’s side in recent games and played a considerable part in clean sheets being kept against Arsenal and Manchester United. The performance against Arsenal caught the eye of Capello before the trip to Berlin.
Davies, who has recently become a father, is determined not to give manager Martin O’Neill cause to drop him again and is preparing himself for this weekend’s visit of Fulham.
“Being called into the England squad was a massive lift because it wasn’t expected,” he said. “I wasn’t in the team a few weeks ago and since coming back I’ve played only a few games. Obviously we won at Arsenal which was a massive game because, with Rio Ferdinand being injured, Wes Brown being injured and Ashley Cole out, there was a few spaces for defenders. That result maybe made the manager stand up and look and say ‘they must have done well to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal’.
“I’m just glad to be in mind really. I know I didn’t get my cap but hopefully if I can keep my form up then I’ll be in come the qualifiers in February.”
Davies was baffled as to why he fell out of favour at Villa but is determined to make the most of his recall. “It was difficult to take because during the Chelsea game I wasn’t at my best, I’ll admit,” he said.“But we came into the Portsmouth game and kept a clean sheet against Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch, two England internationals, and I thought at last we’re back with a clean sheet. Then the next game I’m left out. I was more confused about why I was left out but obviously the manager will make his decisions and I have to stand by them.
“I’ve managed to get back in for the Prague game and we put in a big performance to get a good win in a tough place, and I’ve been in the team ever since, so at the moment it’s good. I need to stay in the team, then all the rest and the England stuff will come with it.”
Davies has impressed many around Villa Park and is being tipped by former Holte End favourite Stan Collymore to be an integral part of O’Neill’s Villa and Capello’s England.“Curtis has all the attributes to be a top-class international footballer,” he said.
“He’s tall, he’s quick, he reads the game well and he’s a level-headed young man who isn’t doing badly at all for someone who once described himself as a pub player! I’m sure both Villa and England will reap the benefits of his talent for years to come.
“I forecast that Curtis would be in the England squad after noticing that Rio Ferdinand was missing from Manchester United’s line-up against Stoke City. On my radio programme ‘Call Collymore’ that evening, I posed the question about who might be drafted into the squad and put Curtis’s name forward as a strong contender. I wasn’t surprised to receive quite a few calls from Villa supporters heading home from London, all of them agreeing with me.”