England boss Roy Hodgson needs Chelsea defender John Terry
Sharethematch.com takes a look at why England manager will miss Chelsea and Three Lions stalwart John Terry
Forget personal feelings, England need Terry
Forgetting what you think of John Terry as a man, his retirement from international football is bad for England and puts their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil in real doubt.
England do have a reasonable second string of centre-backs, Gary Cahill will learn from Terry at Chelsea and become a star of the future, while Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka are solid pros who will always be committed to their country’s cause.
But beneath that there are real problems. Phil Jones is a talent but very much unproven, while there are still doubts over Chris Smalling at centre-half.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rio Ferdinand is expected to throw his hat in to the ring for a return, but while again he is a quality defender, at 33 and with a poor injury record, the Manchester United defender cannot be relied upon.
Terry will of course come in for criticism following but look at the most recent facts at Euro 2012, with Terry in the side, England defended heroically and almost reached an unlikely semi-final.
Yet, take him out and England are exposed consistently by an average Ukraine side at Wembley before snatching a point to keep their qualification hopes alive.
No more ‘boing, boing’ for Baggies
One of the most popular chants for many years at the Hawthorns has been “boing, boing” – but West Bromwich Albion are fast shedding their image as a yo-yo club.
The old chestnut of being too good for the Football League but not quite good enough to stay in the Premier League was the life for the Baggies season after season not too long ago.
But things appear to have changed for the better now – this season marks the third in succession West Brom have kicked off in the English top flight, having finished in a respectable tenth position last campaign.
New boss Steve Clarke was touted by many as a favourite for the sack before Christmas, unable to follow on from Roy Hodgson when he departed for the England manager’s post in May.
But it is Clarke currently having the last laugh, leading Albion into a Champions League position in the early running with ten points from five games in the Premier League.
They are there on merit too, as aside from the 3-0 defeat by Fulham at Craven Cottage, they have been outstanding, particularly in the opening day demolition of Liverpool.
West Brom have by no means the biggest or best squad in the Premier League, but certainly have the quality in abundance required to survive at this level.
The Baggies’ bench for the 1-0 victory over Reading included Graham Dorrans, Shane Long, Marc-Antoine Fortune and new signing Markus Rosenberg.
The squad also lacked the suspended Peter Odemwingie and the injured duo of Steven Reid and Jerome Thomas.
West Brom will not get into the Champions Leagu, and are unlikely to reach the Europa League, but another top-half finish would surely represent an excellent season for them and is the more realistic goal.
But they are certainly an example to those who want to consolidate their position in the Premier League via shrewd signings, strength in depth and astute managerial choices.