What would your Starting England team be for the Euro’s? (Left-Back)

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There’s a long and arduous ahead for many of England’s hopeful European Championship squad of contenders and one must not presume that the squad will pick itself much like the previous World Cup Squad. Players have emerged from the youth ranks and have been impressive, most recently in friendly’s against Sweden and Spain where Danny Welbeck and Jack Rodwell caught the eye with accomplished performances.

But the debate rages on as to who will be going on that plane to the Ukraine and Poland and not for many a year has England had such a pool of resources to pick from. Over the next couple of articles I will look at the various contenders for each position and who will eventually make up the squad.

The Left-Back position for the past decade or so has been one of more renowned positions primarily down to one player, a Mr. Ashley Cole. Despite his off-field antics and his well known cavorting with nefarious females, Cole has remained England’s most consistent performers. In fact he has improved with each tournament that has gone on, one of the players from the “Golden Generation” who has not had his reputation tarnished for a lack of desire in playing for his country nor for playing poorly.

Many won’t forget his courageous battles against Cristiano Ronaldo in the previous two international cup tournaments where he kept him quiet for lengthy spells during the game. Not many full-backs in the world can boast of such an achievement against what many regard as one of the greatest players in the world at this current moment in time.

A complete left-back in that he possesses everything a modern day full-back requires. His ability to launch daring raids from the back is matched by his awesome defensive capabilities that have nullified many great wingers. His delivery of the ball, electric pace and penchant for beating players could easily have seen him fill the position of winger in my eyes.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, it’s safe to assume he will be England’s automatic first choice for the upcoming Euro’s next summer. As to who his understudy will be, based on recent squad selections, I predict it will be Leighton Baines of Everton. He is as solid as he is reliable. A decent range of passing with his key passion for getting stuck into a dogged battle with any player make him a great candidate to be Ashley Cole’s understudy. The on thing he perhaps lacks is pace and this can be a hindrance especially in the modern day game when faced with wingers full of trickery.

Another name not to forget is Kieran Gibbs. Many had thought he would be the natural successor to Ashley Cole should he have retired or missed out on a key tournament. Coming through the ranks at Arsenal he is another winger that had been converted into a full-back. He maintains the same abilities as Ashley Cole but lacks international experience with only a handful of caps to his name. An issue that could arise is his susceptibility to injuries. They have continually hindered his career and are currently doing so as well. After Gael Clichy departed for pastures new, Wenger was all willing to nurture him into the vacant position. Unfortunately for Kieran he is still reeling on the sidelines and Wenger has had to dip into the market for a Brazilian left-back.

Talking all of this into account, the slot should be a no-brainer for Capello. Ashley Cole will be number one choice for England, though personally if fully fit Gibbs should get the nod over Baines. Whilst Baines is reliable, I feel he is coming towards the twilight of his career and this may well be his last international tournament. With Gibbs at a tender age, he should be taken in order to gain experience and to groom him for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Some might disagree with my ideas. Perhaps Ashley Cole shouldn’t go and someone else should be given a chance. Jack Robinson of Liverpool or Ryan Bertrand at Chelsea, two young English full-backs with bright futures. Who would be the two left-backs you take and why?

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A Liverpool fan whose a realist. Born in Birmingham

Got a degree in Politics and aspire to be a sports journalist however.

I love Cheese Toast and Donnor Kebabs amongst playing footy and weightlifting. Things that annoy me? Women who talk during football, Manchester United fans and the perm hairstyle.


  • wes says:

    Cole can still do a job for the England team but a possibilty is playing Smalling at right back and switching Walker to left back. Did Walker no come onto the left side when he came on against Spain.

    • Haider Ali says:

      I’d use Smalling as centre-back cover, never would I play him at right-back. Would rather use Micah or Kyle Walker instead of him. And Walker being able to play left back gives us more versatility, Glen can play ther too so it won;t be a problem.

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