Everton defender Phil Jagielka has been waiting a long time to get his chance to make his mark on the England national team. Where you are the next generation closest to former England central defenders Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and Chelsea captain John Terry, it is hard to find your place in the first team.
However, with Ferdinand on the do not cap list and Terry now officially retired the Toffee’s ever patient defender could finally have his chance in the coming World Cup Qualifying campaign for the Three Lions.
Chelsea’s John Terry was an ever present and dominant force at the back for England. With his retirement it has ushered in the dawn of a new era at the back for England. However, despite an controversy, there is no doubting that Terry was as much as Captain and Legend for the Three Lions as he is for the Blues.
In an interview with British news outlet BBC on Monday Oct. 14, the 30-year-old came out and said he was up for the challenge of pickup where Terry left off:
You’ll have to see who takes the mantle of leading the back four; I’ll chuck my name in the hat.
John’s decided to retire now and there’s a few of us competing for the two spots available.
You’ve got Gary Cahill, who had a great game against San Marino going forward, and Joleon Lescott, who had a fantastic Euros, plus the other lads coming into the squad like Ryan Shawcross. It’s going to keep us on our toes.
John and Rio played together for England forever … had a great partnership and there were a couple of others behind them waiting for a game. So you are down a long list of players trying to get your chance but time passes and people have good form, bad form and you get your opportunities.
I’ve been around the squad for the last couple of years or so [and] played a game here and there and I’d like to play on a more consistent basis. But if the boss said ‘come here and play every other game’ I’d take that as well.
With England ready to take on Poland in their final World Cup Qualifying match of the current international break on October 16th, 2012 there is no telling just what could happen.
There is plenty of time left for Jagielka to stake his claim to a first team place, and at his age he is still well within the prime years that could see him manage a place in the coming 2014 World Cup as long as his side qualifies.