England defender Phil Jagielka has revealed his belief that there is only one player sure of a place in the squad if Roy Hodgson’s side reach the World Cup in 2014 – captain Steven Gerrard, ESPN
Hodgson is preparing his side for a pair of end-of-season friendlies, the first to take place at Wembley against the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, with a trip to Brazil to play the World Cup hosts coming shortly after.
Gerrard will miss both games after shoulder surgery but Jagielka feels the Liverpool midfielder need not fret over his place in Hodgson’s travelling party, should the Three Lions qualify for the competition.
“There is tough competition in all positions,” Jagielka said. “It’s not just the centre-backs – even the full-backs aren’t guaranteed places these days and I look on that as a positive.
“There isn’t really anyone nailed down. Possibly Stevie but he’s getting that bit older and I see him changing his game for England a bit.”
Jagielka added that Gerrard has the potential to play a similar role for England as Andrea Pirlo does for Italy. He continued: “[Gerrard’s] still got the range of passing. Pirlo doesn’t move around much but still gets in and makes things happen. If Stevie does that and doesn’t run around as much – with his range of passing – that could make us stronger.”
The Everton defender is in line to win his 17th England cap against Ireland and is likely to remain part of Hodgson’s defence for the foreseeable future after both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand stepped away from the international scene, ESPN claimed.
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