Date:Thursday October 18 2007
Some may say this is being viewed through my blue glasses with a yellow horizontal moon and star in the middle of each of the lenses, but Sol Campbell was arguably the best player for England against Russia yesterday as he passed his first major test since returning to the international scene with flying colours.
The Russia defeat now leaves England teetering on the brink of elimination and crushingly not making it to Euro 2008, but I got immense pleasure from watching Campbell put in a fantastic performance - and one that proved that he is still very much good enough for international football.
With Rio Ferdinand picking up a booking he will now miss the Croatia match through suspension, so fitness permitting Campbell must surely be the man set to step in and take his place, for what would then be his 3rd England start running.
Some time prior to the Russian match - and more and more repeatedly as it got closer - I had expressed my concerns that Paul Robinson could make an error that would come back to haunt us, so my thinking was David James - a man that has such command of his area, something that was desperately needed at such a crucial time - should have come back in.
Whilst I am not saying that Robinson is at fault for our defeat he is being held quite accountable by many for not doing better with the initial shot which eventually saw the Russian winner.
His form for Spurs recently has been a major concern for so many. Was Spineless Steve right or wrong to keep him in is not really a matter of debate now, as it is basically irrelevant as it cannot change what has happened, but with our qualification hopes all but over what does he do for the Croatia match?
Does he stick with Robinson again? Bring James - the man that should be England's no.1 - back in? Or make a complete break altogether and bring in a more long-term option such as Scott Carson?
Whatever happens to be honest over this international break it has been fantastic to see Campbell back in the England side and fitness permitting he will be again for at least one last stand against Croatia, hopefully, as he should have long ago James will also join him.
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Date:Thursday October 18 2007
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