The above image is now becoming infamous in England with the loss of Captain Rio Ferdinand for World cup 2010. Historically losing your starting centre back and international captain is not a good sign for success in the upcoming tournament but in this case i'm willing to reconsider.
First of all I would like to state as a West Ham United fan I have nothing but love for Rio Ferdinand, I still remember the day when my dad took me to the official West Ham store by Upton Park and brought me the Away Dr Martins sponsored FILA manufactured kit with Ferdinand and 15 printed on the back. I was in love with this ball playing defender and at 10 years of age I already stated that he was the future England captain (my similar statement about Mark Noble doesnt seem to be playing out).
So back to my point. Rio is now being flown home to be replaced by a certain Michael Dawson, a 26 year old centre back who plays for Tottenham Hotspur and had one hell of a season along with his fellow England squad member Mr no-knees Ledley King. They both propelled Tottenham into their first EVER Champions League appearance with excellent displays at the back against difficult Premier League opposition.
Rio has had a difficult season so far with injuries restricting him to 13 starts with age starting to take a toll and even in those 13 stats he hasnt quite lived up to his high expectations even making a calamitous mistake for the goal which lead to a 1-nil loss to Ukraine this season.
England fans should have faith and hope that fate has given us the better defender at the moment. big names and popularity do not equal world cup wins, we found that out with France at World Cup Japan & Korea 2002 with a spectacular flameout even though they were current world champions!
Form however is an integral part of winning and success so lets hope Dawson and King can recreate their successful club form with Ashley Cole at left-back and Glenn Johnson at Right-Back.
After reading my own article I think i'm off down the bookies, England at 15/2, I'll take that!