Football365's Famous World Cup Ladder

Phil Jagielka and Jonjo Shelvey are the biggest movers after the latest World Cup qualifiers. We're sticking our necks out and suggesting they'll both make it to Brazil (if England do).

Last Updated: 18/10/12 at 16:47 Post Comment

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The numbers in brackets refer to their position in the last England ladder in September

1 (1) - Joe Hart
What's more worrying - Joe Hart's continuing flappery at high balls into the box (as highlighted by the curious axis of logic that is F365's John Nicholson and ITV's Roy Keane) or the fact that he is so far and away England's best goalkeeping option that he's the first name on the England team sheet? And not just because his name is literally the first on the team sheet.

2 (2) - Jack Wilshere
Yes, we are exactly that desperate for a central midfielder with both discipline and drive that we're keeping him high on this list. No pressure, Jack.

3 (3) - Steven Gerrard
For large swathes of the game against Poland, Gerrard seemed the only player capable of using the ball with any intelligence. We're hoping he'll soon be joined in that pretty exclusive club by the man just above him in this list. The stats suggest he's still the best English midfielder in the Premier League (insert own joke about being Britain's tallest dwarf) and we're inclined to agree.

4 (4) - Ashley Cole
It's a tad depressing that fourth on this ladder is a left-back who will be 33 by the time the World Cup rolls to Brazil in 2014. But not quite as depressing as the notion that we might not even get to Brazil.

5 (8) - Wayne Rooney
Moving up this ladder not because of performances (he was frankly awful v Poland despite the goal) but because he could probably fail to score a single goal for a whole 12 months and will still be on the plane to Brazil. We're in the 'acceptance' stage of grief.

6 (5) - Glen Johnson
England are not short of right-back options if everyone is fit (Kyle Walker, Carl Jenkinson, Micah Richards, Martin Kelly, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling) but Johnson is still England's first-choice right-back because during four years in the role he has not made a single serious error. Despite this, people still act as if every England manager is a mentalist for not seeing that Walker/Richards/whoever is clearly so very much better. If only you were in charge, eh...

7 (7) - James Milner
Every time he crosses the ball, it makes a kind of 'ooof' sound and then hits the first man. Perhaps Roy Hodgson likes the noise because he pretty much always picks him. Nick Miller argued on Wednesday that we should not judge him too harshly as a winger but Nick Miller is wrong: Judge him, he's rubbish (Milner, not Miller).

8 (12) - Tom Cleverley
Five consecutive England starts in three different positions (he had a stint on the right side of midfield to make it four in total against Poland) suggests that Hodgson rather likes the boy Cleverley. Perhaps he should have liked him a little bit more and played him instead of slo-mo Michael Carrick in central midfield agaist Poland? A risk but one that would have seen the ball moved much, much quicker.

9 (11) - Danny Welbeck
With the benefit of hindsight, Hodgson should perhaps have changed his starting line-up v Poland after the heavy downpour made the clever through balls that suit Jermain Defoe decidedly more difficult. Whether Welbeck has the finishing prowess to spearhead England's attack is very much in question but at the moment (and for the forseeable future, judging by the sob-tastic Under-21 options that feature Marvin Sordell and Connor Wickham) he is probably England's best option away from Wembley.

10 (28) - Phil Jagielka
The biggest benefactor of John Terry's retirement as Jagielka - nicknamed The General by former boss Fabio Capello - is nominally the leader of England's defence. He may not be leading said defence terribly well but he's leading it nevertheless.

11 (9) - Joleon Lescott
Rested v San Marino only to avoid suspension, Lescott's partnership with Jagielka - unfortunately for the unlucky Gary Cahill - seems to be Hodgson's choice. Which is a shame as he is truly awful in possession and is developing rather a bad habit of being out-jumped at set-pieces.

12 (10) - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The Ox has not exactly come flying out of the blocks for Arsenal this season and that's reflected in his drop to the bench for the Poland game after looking a tad overwhelmed v Ukraine. File under 'exciting option' rather than 'regular starter' for both club and country.

13 (16) - Andy Carroll
Plan B for Bloody Hell, He's Big And Awkward.

14 (20) - Jermain Defoe
Plan C for Can Finish If Nothing Else?

15 (15) - Theo Walcott
Starting ahead of Aaron Lennon v San Marino proved that he's top of the 'can run very quick but will frustrate the hell out of you with his decision-making' race. And that's a very fast race.

16 (22) - Leighton Baines
Second-choice left-back. He's quite good, you know.

17 (13) - Ashley Young
We're kind of assuming that a fit Ashley Young is still in Roy Hodgson's plans. He plays for Manchester United, after all.

18 (17) - Jack Butland
Don't be fooled by him being in the Under-21 squad - it's clearly a borrow.

19 (19) - Gary Cahill
John Terry's retirement has done Cahill absolutely no favours - still third-choice and without the 'club partnership' card to play. Which is a shame because he's definitely better than Lescott with the ball at his feet. As am I.

20 (24) - Michael Carrick
Both Jack Wilshere and Tom Cleverley receive the ball in central midfield on the half-turn. Carrick has almost never been on the half-turn in his career. But he did start England's last two matches and appears to have usurped Gareth Barry if nothing else.

21 (21) - Phil Jones
Just the kind of 'jack of all trades' type that end up at major tournaments.

22 (39) - Jonjo Shelvey
A bit of a leap, you might say. But there's a Gerrard-esque thrust and urgency about Shelvey that could make him a valuable asset. And my what terrific bantz he has.

23 (23) - John Ruddy
England's No. 3 No. 1 as it stands right now.

24 (14) - Gareth Barry
Back for Manchester City but not back for England. Frankly, there's very little else of interest to say.

25 (27) - Kyle Walker
Historically, managers only take one specialist right-back to major tournaments. This is bad news for Walker, who made something of an arse of his chance v San Marino.

26 (25) - Frank Lampard
Still in Hodgson's initial squad but will he be in Brazil at the age of 36 as an LA Galaxy player? We sodding hope not.

27 (RE) - Aaron Lennon
Back in the fold a full 18 months after he was last involved. But he has Theo Walcott ahead of him and Raheem Sterling dribbling rather quickly behind him.

28 (32) - Adam Johnson
Named in every post-Euro 2012 England squad despite a hesitant (that's a polite way of saying he's been a bit pony) start to his Sunderland career.

29 (18) - Jack Rodwell
Can he stay fit enough for long enough to become a regular for Manchester City and England?

30 (NE) - Fraser Forster
Move over Robert Green...there's a new England No. 4 in town.

31 (40) - Steven Caulker
The best of the young centre-half bucks is now playing regularly for Tottenham. Ahead of Ryan Shawcross despite the sensible decision to keep him in the England Under-21 set-up while there are other senior options available.

32 (42) - Kieran Gibbs
One of three left-backs included in Hodgson's original lopsided squad.

33 (NE) - Carl Jenkinson
Pledged his future to England but faces a battle he would never have faced for Finland.

34 (NE) - Ryan Shawcross
Deserved the call as the next-best option but it seems unlikely to that he will play anything but a bit-part role for England.

35 (26) - Scott Parker
It was fun in a 1930s kind of way - but we fully expect him to never to play for England again.

36 (29) - Daniel Sturridge
Needs that January move to Liverpool or Tottenham - though he may be the only man in football who believes he's actually worth £20m.

37 (30) - Darren Bent
Scoring almost no goals in a pretty poor Villa side is not the recipe for England recall. But if he moves to Liverpool in January...

38 (35) - Ryan Bertrand

39 (34) - Jake Livermore
Relatively uninspired but Hodgson seems to be eyeing him as cover.

40 (43) - Raheem Sterling

41 (33) - Stewart Downing

42 (37) - Martin Kelly

43 (38) - Chris Smalling

44 (44) - Micah Richards

45 (RE) - Leon Osman

46 (36) - Scott Sinclair

47 (41) - Jordan Henderson

48 (45) - Adam Lallana

49 (46) - Rickie Lambert

50 (50) - Phil Neville

Sarah Winterburn

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m pretty sure van Gaal has created his own dialect.

LVG: Herrera better at No.10


hy do ye insist on making out Spurs are a bigger club than Everton? Blatant London bias here

Have The Top Six Met Their Targets?


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