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The England left back debate

Ashley Cole playing for Chelsea. Photo: Ben Sutherland  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/
Ashley Cole playing for Chelsea.
Photo: Ben Sutherland

With 90 days left until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil kicks off, it has gotten to the time where supporters and experts alike are predicting who Roy Hodgson is going to pick in his 23 man squad. In bars all around the country people will be debating who should be included and who should miss out.

Competition is fierce for places on the plane to Brazil and Roy Hodgson is going to have some big decisions to make in the coming months. The left back position however is looking perhaps more competitive than any other area with Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole, Luke Shaw and Kieran Gibbs all vying for what is likely to be only two seats on that flight.

For years Ashley Cole has been the undisputed England left back with over 100 caps for his country however, as I write this he finds himself not being able to force his way into Chelsea’s starting line ups whereas Baines and Shaw are starting every match for Everton and Southampton respectively.

I have been discussing this issue with my friend for over a fortnight now. He is of the mind that due to Cole not being a regular for his club this season, that Shaw should get the nod to deputise for Baines. I think however, that not only should Cole go to the World Cup but he should be starting ahead of Leighton Baines.

For me Ashley Cole is England’s best left back and he has been for the last ten years. No, it’s not ideal he isn’t playing week in week out for his club but he is the best England has to offer in that  position so surely it makes sense that in the World Cup you play the best players you have in every position!

Also, Cole has played at the last three world cups and has the big tournament experience but it is unlikely he will be in Russia in 2018 and Shaw probably will be so Cole should be allowed to finish his international career at the top level. I don’t know what Roy Hodgson is going to do come the summer but I do know for sure that my friend and I are going to be arguing about this all the way up until a ball is kicked.

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