Le Saux: Baines to face Italy

Graeme Le Saux believes Leighton Baines should get the nod over Luke Shaw when England open their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14.

Last Updated: 04/06/14 at 11:54 Post Comment

Graeme Le Saux: Former England defender expects Leighton Baines to start

Graeme Le Saux: Former England defender expects Leighton Baines to start

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The former Chelsea full-back, who represented England at the 1998 finals in France, says the Everton man will be first choice when manager Roy Hodgson names his side.

Le Saux, 45, told Sky Sports News: "Luke is at the beginning of his career path, has had a great season with Southampton and totally justifies his inclusion in Roy's squad.

"As a left-back myself, I have confidence in his ability defensively but also creatively - he has great pace and fantastic energy - so I have no doubts about him.

"But I think it's safe to say that Leighton Baines, given the season he's had, is the first choice left-back."

As for right-back, Glen Johnson's position is under threat with midfielder James Milner now a possible option for the role with England.

The Manchester City man is expected to start against Ecuador in tonight's friendly in Miami and Le Saux said: "Glen Johnson has been fantastic for Liverpool all season, with his creativity and getting forward, but there's always been a question about him defensively.

"But I think modern full-backs are more exposed than they used to be. When I played, we had a bit more cover in those days because of the way teams were set up.

"But if James Milner, a wide midfielder dropping back plays, he's going to have to be a lot more wary of what is going on behind him and runs coming from wide areas behind him, because that's not something he has had to worry about too much as a midfielder.

"So it's going to be a very fast learning curve for him but if it is successful it gives another option for Roy.

"And, of course, James' physique is better than say somebody like Chris Smalling or Phil Jones who are bigger and less mobile."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

tk421
F365's Transfer Guide - Part One

I

would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

godzilla
Reds and Arsenal chase Milner

W

ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

CamberleyGooner
The Back To It Gossip

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter announces he will resign as FIFA president

Sepp Blatter has announced he is to resign as president of FIFA and an election will be held to decide his successor.

Greg Dyke welcomes Sepp Blatter's decision to resign as FIFA president

FA chairman Greg Dyke has called Sepp Blatter's announcement he is to resign as FIFA president "a brilliant day for football".

FIFA reformer Damian Collins wants Sepp Blatter to go immediately

FIFA reform campaigner Damian Collins believes Sepp Blatter should go sooner rather than later.

Mail Box

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

Calling Carlo For Liverpool... Please

One Liverpool Mailer wants a manager who isn't starstruck by the job. Plus why Milner has now become overrated, play-offs for the title, Ronaldinho and democracy..

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company