Jag highlights left-back dilemma

14 October 2012 05:17

Phil Jagielka believes England boss Roy Hodgson faces a tough decision over whether to stick with Jagielka's Everton team-mate Leighton Baines or bring back Ashley Cole at left-back for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Poland.

Jagielka has hailed Baines as the in-form player in the Barclays Premier League this season and he again impressed during Friday's 5-0 win over minnows San Marino at Wembley. Cole was rested for that match because of his ongoing ankle problem and he is only two caps away from reaching 100 senior appearances for his country.

Jagielka said: "It is going to be a really tough decision for the manager. Getting to watch Bainesy from a closer view than most, he has had a fantastic start to the season at club level and international level. It is not a bad headache for the manager to have."

He added: "You've got Cole on 98 caps, a fantastic left-back, and then you've got the in-form player in the Premier League in Leighton Baines.

"As far as the manager goes he is going to have a bit of a headache but it will be a nice headache.

"I'm just glad I don't have to make that decision. I think I'd be tossing a coin, heads or tails. But I'm sure the manager will make the right decision."

Jagielka is now pressing hard for his own regular spot in the side at centre-back after the retirement of John Terry and the non selection of Rio Ferdinand.

He has started three of the four internationals since Euro 2012 and is in competition with former Everton team-mate Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill, but Jagielka does expect Lescott, one of England's best performers during the summer in Poland and Ukraine, to return to the side in Warsaw.

Jagielka said: "In the last 10 to 11 months, many things have changed and, with John (Terry) deciding to call it a day now, it opens the door even more so now for myself, Joleon and Gary.

"We are all competing for those two places. It is not too cut and dried in terms of who is the first name down on the team sheet. That only makes it healthy. No one is guaranteed a place any more."

Source: PA