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Ian Snodin: Everton FC defender Phil Jagielka can keep established stars out of England side
Published : 07 Sep 2010 06:30:00
PHIL JAGIELKA can give Fabio Capello a major headache in Switzerland tonight - but this time the kind of problem the England coach will be happy to wrestle with. Jags was very good against Bulgaria last Friday. He was also decent against Hungary in the game before that, and if he can produce another sound performance tonight I simply can't see how Capello can automatically recall his regular first choice pairing of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand when they're available again. For a start I don't think Terry is quite the commanding, inspirational leader that he was 18 months ago. A few things have gone wrong for the former captain, quite apart from his off-field antics, and Jags certainly looks the more pacy player now. And it could be months before Rio Ferdinand is ready to return to the international fold again. The Everton player is in the driving seat now and if he can perform as well this evening as he did last Friday he could take some dislodging. The great quality that Jags has is that he produces a consistent level of performance week in, week out - and that kind of reliability is invaluable at international level. I was shocked when he wasn't selected for the World Cup squad - no-one was more disappointed than I was - but he can force Capello into making another shock decision very soon by securing his own England place for the foreseeable future. Results matter more than anything at international level and you can't argue with the last two results that Jags has been a big part of. Another good result tonight and Capello would be hard pressed to change things too dramatically for the next international double header.