Wayne Bridge withdraws from England, leaving Capello selection headache

26th February 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge will be left back in England, instead of being left back for England in the forthcoming international friendly with Egypt on March 3rd. The full back has decided to make himself unavailable for selection for his country, something which has come as a shock, as Fabio Capello was getting ready to pick him, and club boss Roberto Mancini had publicly said that Bridge would step up for his country if called upon. This whole ordeal is the residual knock-on effect from all of alleged John Terry affair with Bridge’s ex-partner, and now it has left a gaping hole in the England defence ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Being a personal issue, no-one is really sure why Bridge has made this decision, but apparently he wouldn’t be keen on sharing a dressing room with ex team-mate at Stamford Bridge, John Terry. It may seem like a hasty decision, especially as the two players are set to go head to head in the Premier League on Saturday, but one has to respect his wishes. Whether or not Fabio Capello can talk him into reversing his decision, or whether the England boss will just move on, will remain to be seen. With Ashley Cole in a race to be fit for the World Cup, England need to find a replacement to fill in the void at left back. While whoever fills in, is unlikely to have the same impact as Cole, the position would favour a naturally left footed full back, and not someone simply filling in from midfield.

So who are the list of candidates in the race for the England left back position against Egypt? One name that keeps jumping out, is that of Leighton Baines, Everton’s promising young full back. There have been questions raised over his small stature, but as least he is comparable to Cole, in that he enjoys foraging forward. Baines has put in some fantastic league appearances lately, which have helped Everton beat both Chelsea and Manchester United. Arsenal’s Kieron Gibbs would have been an option if he wasn’t out with injury as well, so that will leave Aston Villa’s Stephen Warnock probably as the most senior choice in the specialised position. Perhaps not as all round accomplished as Cole, Warnock is reliable and the England defence wouldn’t be any weaker for his selection.

But the position calls for more than just defensive qualities, it requires quality on the ball in the opponents half when tracking down the flank. This is a skill which Chelsea’s Ashley Cole has down to a fine art. If you want some betting action with this, then of course this circumstance has warranted a special market.

To Play Left Back in England’s First World Cup Match
Ashley Cole: 1/3 at SkyBet
Stephen Warnock: 6/1 at SkyBet
Leighton Baines: 8/1 at SkyBet
Joleon Lescott: 12/1 at SkyBet
Matthew Upson: 20/1 at SkyBet


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