England's Euro Squad - Defenders Part 1 (Central Defence)
Due to the large number of defenders in the fray for selection, this article will deal only with the CB or centre back position.
|Strong Foundations: Cahill and Terry|
John Terry and Gary Cahill- “It is hard to write about these two players individually. Purchased for a reported 7 million, Gary Cahill has come into his own at Chelsea and fully justified his move into a top club like Chelsea. Considered as Terry’s heir apparent at Chelsea the English defender is as good as he can get. For Chelsea this was a dream pairing and it looks so for England too. In Cahill and Terry you have two great no-nonsense defenders with extraordinary goal-scoring abilities. Terry has been known too pump in those deflections and headers at close quarters and Cahill has been seen doing the same in the last few games. This looks a set partnership which might be interrupted in favor of a Terry-Ferdinand partnership in a crunch game given Cahill’s relative lack of international exposure.
Terry-Cahill Chances: 9/10
Rio Ferdinand- Despite being an interim captain and an able and strong defender for both Manchester United and England, Rio has been a bit faltering this season. With the rise of exciting young defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, Rio has often had to warm the benches this year. He shot himself in the foot too when he refused the captaincy after John Terry’s racist remark row. That would have granted him a definite First XI spot. Still a very good defensive partner for Terry having played together for years, now he could see his spot go to Gary Cahill
Ledly King- The long standing defensive stalwart has always impressed in England colors despite all his injury problems. It was reported that King used to use an oxygen tent to recuperate before every match. King is one of those players who despite all his performances was always overshadowed by someone. At Tottenham this season Younes Kaboul and William Gallas’ partnership has been rather impressive and his injury concerns haven’t really helped his cause either. Should make it to the team based on experience.
Joleon Lescott- The former Everton centre back who now plys his trade for Manchester City has successfully formed a partnership with Kompany. One of the first picks for the City back-line, he has been consistent and ever present in performing his duties. With Cahill, Terry and Ferdinand most likely sealing their spots he faces competition with Ledly King for the 4th CB role in the team. In all probabilities it will boil down to form and fitness before the selection date.
Bolt from the Blue
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling- The young Manchester United defenders have it in them to be one of England’s finest in a couple of years. Their ability to play in various positions along the back-line may also come in handy but their recurring injury problems will pose concern. With other veteran defenders Phil Jagielka and Michael Dawson out with injuries this could be the time to make an impact.
Michael Dawson and Phil Jagielka- Often picked in the first team squad, Dawson and Jagielka look all set to miss the Euros with long term injuries for Tottenham and Everton respectively.
My Picks: John Terry, Gary Cahill, Rio Ferdinand, Ledly King