Only 3 days to go until England start their voyage for World Cup glory in South Africa this summer, yet with Rio Ferdinand ruled out of the tournament with an injury, the question on every England fans lips is, who should partner John Terry in England’s back-line?
Terry and Ferdinand were the likely pairing to start for England in the back, but an injury sustained to the United defender in a training session last week has ruled him out of the World Cup. Ferdinand is believed to have suffered knee ligament damage caused by an accident in training involving Emile Heskey.
So, who should take Rio’s place? The candidates are Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, Michael Dawson and Matthew Upson.
All the defenders mentioned have very little experience in an England shirt and many have not played in the grandest stage of them all, the World Cup. But the fact is, one of them has to be picked to play alongside John Terry for a possible 7 games.
King has strongly been tipped to take Ferdinand’s place, and also appears to be the public’s favourite choice. However, is the Spurs centre-back fit enough to sustain 90 minutes of football at the highest level? These days King can hardly play two games in a row for his club, and with the World Cup group games 5-6 days between each other, will he be able to cope and be fit enough for all of them?
King seems to be the most potent out of all of the other defenders, and as such, he would appear to be Capello’s best available option. King and Terry are close friends from their school days and they look to have the best chemistry to partner each other this summer.
Upson didn’t have the best seasons for West Ham this year, yet somehow he managed to board the plane to South Africa. He doesn’t look likely to be a starter for England, although Capello may utilize the centre-back at some stage of the tournament. Upson has not been able to train with the squad due to illness and because of this may be overlooked. Many three lion fans will not want to see him start against the bigger teams in the tournament that’s for sure.
Many fans will agree that Jamie Carragher has only been included in the squad because England do not have sufficient cover at right-back this summer. Carragher may be another good choice to partner Terry during the tournament, but is he the best option for Capello and England in Rio’s absence? Many fans would think not. He is a no nonsense defender but his pace will no doubt be a problem against the bigger nations in the competition (providing England get that far).
Ferdinand’s injury saw the arrival of Michael Dawson. Dawson got a call from the England coach telling him he didn’t make the final 23, but is now in South Africa fighting for a first-team place. The Spurs defender had a great season for his club, but he hasn’t got any experience in football’s greatest tournaments. He won’t be a first choice player because of this and may struggle when put up against top quality strikers.
With this all being said, does Capello really have a tough choice to make on who should play alongside John Terry in the World Cup?
All of the defenders may appear capable of handling the pressure, but let’s not forget this is the World Cup we are talking about. One error from the man to partner John Terry could result in scrutiny from the entire nation. The player will need to be focused at all times, be able to produce at the highest quality and tick all the right boxes for Capello. One of the defenders will have to be picked by the Italian, but the question is who should that man be? King, Dawson, Carragher or Upson? The nation awaits your decision Mr. Capello.
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