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Who Should Replace Ashley Cole In the England World Cup Squad?


It was all going all too swimmingly in the run-up to the World Cup, wasn’t it England supporters? That vindaloo dinner was digesting so well. A triumphant qualifying campaign, including two supremely satisfying Croatia thumpings. A seemingly straightforward World Cup draw. Rooney on a rampage. Capello’s calm command with his coif stiff against the breeze helping to erase memories of Steve McClaren standing dumbfounded beneath that brolly.

First came John Terry’s sexual shenanigans, emergency trips to Dubai and all. Then came Landon Donovan’s challenge on Ashley Cole, causing Cashley to break his left angle. And in a most delicious irony, Wayne Bridge is amongst the leading candidates to replace Cole at left-back. No doubt the tabloids will be in a tizzy.

But what of England’s chances now? Does this change your mind on the pecking order in Group C? Who replaces Cole in the interim? Should Cole play in the World Cup if he doesn’t recover until after Chelsea’s season ends? How much blame do you heap on Donovan? Whose absence is more catastrophic, Charlie Davies for the USA or Cole for England? Should Cole play in the World Cup if he doesn’t recover until after Chelsea’s season ends? And just where will Chelsea be at season’s end if Cole plays no part? Have at it.

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  1. Dom

    February 14, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Liam Ridgewell.

  2. ish

    February 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    personally i think baines followed by warnock. both are quality but baines is slightly better(just).

    it really depends on who capello will use as the left winger though, does he goes with a more defensive one now or a more attacking one. personally i think the best option might be to play rooney on the left wing but more centrally, so much so that england play a diamon more then a 4231. that way he offers protection to the left back who can come up forward a bit more.

  3. Rob Marrs

    February 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    If he is fit, he’ll be in the squad.

    If he isn’t fit, then it has to be Bridge or Baines. Milner should be in the squad on merit and should only play left-back in an absolute emergency. That is no slur on Milner – he’s much better in centre mid or on the wings and I’d have him in the squad (if not quite the team yet) on that basis.

    Barry can play there too but he’s the same – better elsewhere.


  4. D-Wreck

    February 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Davies v Cole? Not even a debate… While the English 2nd squad are not all World Class, it is much deeper than the US second team…. And losing Davies might change eveything concerning how effective the US counter-attack can be.

    My latest interview with Steve Sampson on the Harked/Wynalda debacle:

  5. Sam

    February 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Baines should be there at left back. Why are people talking about Wayne Bridge as a possible solution? He’s terrible and the only reason that he is in consideration is because of his crossing ability and because he plays for the bigger clubs.

    Honestly though, I believe Cole will be fit for the WC.

    How is Milner not in the squad? Does Capello hate Villans?

  6. scott

    February 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

    nicc, how many caps does LB have for England?.

    • nicc

      February 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

      why does that (seniority) matter?
      Baines is only 24/25 so he wouldn’t have many senior team caps yet anyway.
      it should be based on fitness and ability, not seniority, favorism or experience.

  7. nicc

    February 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

    am I the only one that thinks Evertons Leighton Baines is a better LB than Bridge?

    • The Gaffer

      February 12, 2010 at 10:36 am

      I personally think that Wayne Bridge is one of the weakest left back solutions for England. Let’s hope Capello doesn’t pick Bridge as the starter because he’s been awful for Manchester City and was suspect at Chelsea.

      My top three picks (prioritized in order of preference) are:

      1. Stephen Warnock (he’s been brilliant for Aston Villa),
      2. Leighton Baines (Everton), and
      3. James Milner (Aston Villa)

      The Gaffer

      • patrick

        February 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

        Fabio could well use Barry.

    • Evertonian

      February 12, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      I’m all for a call up of Baines
      Donovan owned Cashley all match.

  8. Jesse

    February 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Great photo again.

  9. scott

    February 12, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I hope cole is fit before the end of the season. Capello has stated that he is not taking the walking wounded to South Africa. You have to be 100% fit and ready to go when the plane departs. Bridge will be fine but the media need to leave him alone. It was not his decision that caused the “controversy”. Rio is still not at 100% for United. With his track record of injury he could be cheering instead of playing in June. Rooney is the player that needs to remain healthy. Without him Englands odds of contending for the World Cup are gone.
    Come on you Three Lions!!!!!

  10. The Three Lions

    February 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

    No one will replace Ashley Cole because he will be fit. You can break your leg and be up and about in 6 weeks. Why people think a broken ankle will take 3 months is crazy, especially when he will have the best treament that money can buy.
    If buy some chance that he isn’t, England can call upon Warnock (villa), Bains (everton) and Bridge (man city)
    Any of these three are still better than anything America has at left back.

    Come on England
    Easy, easy, easy, easy, easy, easy

    • Laurence

      February 12, 2010 at 8:11 am

      I agree that ‘Cashley’ should be fit for the world cup. A wider point here is that England have a bit of a weakness in defence and attack if he is out of the side. I’m not saying that they can’t go forward or find someone to fill in for him. Let’s face it though, this is more about the media-fest which surrounds it and the issues raised by the loss of Ashley, than Cole’s injury.

      Chelsea can also cope without him, they just won’t have their first choice and that might take away from the attacking options that Cole offers.

    • patrick

      February 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

      Yeah Dean Ashton was back up in a few weeks time…
      NOT he had to retire over it.

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