In ten years time, English football fans will look back in the annals of history and cast villainous or glorious eyes upon someone named Wayne. This pending assignment of fates will depend on the outcome of this summer’s World Cup. Wayne Bridge, as unfortunate as it is, has been in the media for all the wrong reasons in recent weeks. Embroiled in a PR nightmare-affair-driven scandal, Bridge, whilst attempting to emerge unscathed has removed his name for England contention some 100 or so days before a ball is kicked in anger.
The second-choice left back for England and first choice left back for perennial underachievers Manchester City cites his position in the squad is now “untenable and potentially divisive“. Come on folks, can you imagine a locker room with those two in it? All the while Wayne Rooney sits quiet in the corner, focused, meditating, contemplating how to break down the staunch German defense in a World Cup quarter-final. Speaking of Rooney,…
Wayne Rooney on the other hand is in the form of his life, has placed not a kick wrong all season, but carries the ridiculously heavy burden of every single hope, dream and aspiration of an entire country (and even some Americans). It’s almost March and Rooney actually looks to be getting stronger having given up scoring with his feet in preference of his head all the while carrying Manchester United on his broad shoulders.
For anxious England and Manchester United fans, the time will soon come where every step, every kick and every tackle their beloved hero participates in will be greeted with nervous anticipation. He’s got to have a rest soon or could risk burnout. Think about it, can one man continue this kind of form March 1 through the middle of July?
One could argue that Mr. Bridge’s decision to commit international football suicide was in all honesty soon enough therefore far away enough to not cause a major distraction to the England dressing room come June. One may also argue that a certain Mr. Leighton Baines or Mr. Stephen Warnock could easily fill the left back shoes left vacant by Bridge. England fans may also have Ashley Cole back in time to claim his starting spot making this debate seemingly irrelevant.
And what’s to become of the likely lad Mr. John Terry? Certainly not in the form of his life for club, Terry trudges forward on an uneven landscape, a balancing act of sorts, as he stumbles his way in central defense stripped of the England captaincy he once held so dear. Surely the decision to pick between Bridge or Terry will never coalesce for Fabio Capello, or will it? Capello’s always said he’ll pick on form and not reputation, a deciding factor that’s plagued England managers in the past. And what of the fringe England central defenders? Upson, Lescott, Cahill, Jagielka? Could one of them replace Terry to make way for Bridge? Uncertainties that will reveal themselves in time.
One thing’s for certain, the pre-match handshake of Chelsea and Manchester City on the weekend will without a doubt be the most anticipated moment in English football this season.