From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

How to solve the problem of a left back

with 3 comments

Following Wayne Bridge’s withdrawal from England selection, and the injury of first choice Ashley Cole, Capello is going to need to think long and hard about who he takes in his squad to South Africa this summer.

Ashley Cole is currently looking at a 3 month lay off, leaving him potentially unfit for when England face their first opponents on June 12th. Capello needs options in his squad for this eventuality, and there are a few players who could fit into this mould.

Evertons Leighton Baines has already been tipped for an England call up at some point. David Moyes has called him one of Everton’s “most consistent performers”. Although not the quickest player on the park, Baines is reliable, and his ability on freekicks and penalties gives him a reasonable shout for a call up.

Ex-Everton player Joleon Lescott, who is currently at Manchester City, has had a difficult season and is returning from his own injury woes. Although he usually plays in the centre back position, he has been picked for England before and could be used as emergency back up.

Other contenders include Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock. This former Blackburn player is currently coming back from an injury, but has been previously selected for England in the 2008 friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. He’s less creative than Cole and his style of football may not suit against the continental styles on display at the World Cup.

Aston Villa also have the multi-talented James Milner, who is more adept playing the attacking role, but could also do a job in the full back role.

Another option is to play someone out of position. Gareth Barry is regarded as a regular in the England squad, but finds it difficult to disloge the preferred partnership of Gerrard and Lampard. Barry has played at left back before, but the main worry here would be whether it would be worth risking playing someone out of position at such a major tournament, and leave them to be exposed by some of the World’s best forwards.

If anything, looking at these options gives the impression that Capello has two options. He either brings in an option who is relatively untested in the England squad, such as Leighton Baines or Stephen Warnock, and hope they can handle the pressure of the tournament. Otherwise, Capello is looking at using somebody he already knows the merits of, but placing them in out of position could be a huge gamble that England are unwilling to take.


Written by Nicole Carroll

February 25, 2010 at 12:39 pm

3 Responses

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  1. 12 months ago, I would have presented you with Lee Naylor at Celtic and sung his praises. 12 months ago, I would have been a mentalist, given how far and fast his stature has fallen, even in the SPL!

    Can’t even have Danny Fox now that he’s “Scottish” 🙂

    Didn’t Phil Neville used to play at left back too though?


    February 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm

  2. you know i will always back Baines not just because im an Evertonian but put Cole aside and i think Baines is the best English left-back. I dont know what your on about Nicole “Although not the quickest player on the park” =O hes fast as f***!! lol he doesnt get the nickname Leighton “il rape you down the left wing” Baines for no reason!he quicker than Bridge anyway

    BAINES ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!

    Will Fazack

    February 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm

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