Rio reckons pair 'can play together'

01 June 2010 06:46
Rio Ferdinand would be happy to place his trust in Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to get their central midfield axis right at the World Cup.

Although Gareth Barry's ankle injury is set to ease sufficiently to let him make the trip to South Africa, the Group C opener against the United States in Rustenburg on June 12 is likely to come too soon.

In the past, Capello has turned to Michael Carrick to fill the role.

But against Mexico, and again against Japan on Sunday, Gerrard's presence in that slot made a vast difference to England's performance.

As Capello has already outlined, shoving Gerrard alongside Frank Lampard costs England some of the Liverpool captain's more destructive attacking tendencies, while neither Sven-Goran Eriksson or Steve McClaren ever found a way of getting the best from two key men at the same time.

Ferdinand has been around both long enough to understand how much talent they have and does not see a problem.

"I have never had any doubt they could play together," Ferdinand said. "They both did it against Japan. It worked well and we looked very dangerous.

"Whether it is just down to those two or whether other players have to do stuff I don't know, but good players can play anywhere and with anyone.

"We have seen that in the past. It is the same with them.

"Will the manager play them together? We will just have to wait and see, but it wouldn't be a problem if he did that against the United States."

Capello has another dilemma to solve too.

For the first time since the great battle between Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence, England do not have a recognised number one goalkeeper.

David James, 39, was first choice during Capello's early months in charge before a succession of injuries, while Joe Hart has done well in two substitute appearances over the past week.

However, it is looking increasingly likely Robert Green will be Capello's main man after starting eight of England's last 11 games, while James - who was starting for the first time since April 2009 against Japan - was only given half a game.

"It is different to what we have had going into tournaments before," conceded Ferdinand.

"In the past we have always known who the goalkeeper was going to be.

"But that is part and parcel of playing tournament football. You never know what is going to get thrown up in front of you and you just have to deal with it.

"The thing is, they have all done well, so I wouldn't want to be the manager picking the goalkeeper.

"They all have different attributes that are worthwhile having."

Source: Team_Talk