Stoke City captain, Ryan Shawcross has been called up to the England squad to replace John Terry for the World Cup Qualifiers against San Marino and Poland next week.
The defender will get the chance to make his England debut after Terry retired from international football following the FA’s decision to bring a misconduct charge against him for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, despite being cleared of the offence in court.
A mainstay of the England defence for a number of years, Terry’s retirement leaves the door open for a number of centre backs to fill the void left by the former skipper. Shawcross joins Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott in Roy Hodgson’s squad and all four will know they now have a great opportunity to establish themselves as an England regular.
For Shawcross, the call up comes two years after his first. The former Manchester United player was included in the squad for a match against Egypt in March 2010 but was an unused substitute. His inclusion in the latest squad is at least a just reward for being one of the Premier League’s most consistent defenders.
But, replacing John Terry is a big task. Quite possibly a step to far for Shawcross. Below we take a look at why the Stoke defender is not the man to replace JT.
He wont get an opportunity
- Admittedly this is perhaps a harsh reason to cast doubt over Shawcross’ England chances but how can he replace Terry if he’s isn’t picked? The aforementioned Cahill, Jagielka and Lescott are all ahead of the Potters man in the pecking order and rightly so. All three are better defenders than the Shawcross and better on the ball. These three will battle it out for a place in the starting XI.
He lacks composure on the ball
- A defender from the old school, Shawcross is an imposing figure at centre back. He’s big, strong, good in the air and strong in the tackle. Yes, he is a very dependable defender, but to succeed at international level you need a lot more than that. Frankly, the 25-year-old is not good enough in possession to establish himself in the England team.
Injuries influenced his selection
- Would Shawcross have been picked if Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were fit? It seems unlikely. These two, along with Cahill, Jagielka and Lescott are the five centre backs that will be at the forefront of Roy Hodgson’s mind for the World Cup Qualifiers and the tournament itself. Equally, should Steven Caulker develop as expected than he too could force his way in ahead of the Stoke defender.