TSF: Life's A Bitch For Team Rivals

Leighton Baines may be frustrated at not being in the England side, but at least he knows Ashley Cole is at least his equal. That's not always the case in football...

Last Updated: 19/10/12 at 09:26 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's Summer Transfer Window Quiz

Post comment

The summer window is officially open, and Premier League clubs have wasted no time in doing deals. But what do you remember of the transfer silly season so far?

All Articles

This is a preview of The Secret Footballer's weekly column. The full version will appear on his website - The Secret Footballer.com - on Saturday...

You might not think it but jealousy is something that most footballers can claim to know a lot about, and not just because they are exclusively on the receiving end of the green-eyed monster brigade.

Within football, there is plenty of rivalry and, as a result, bitchiness between members of the same squad. It is greater still when those players are vying for the same starting place.

The ease with which commentators and pundits alike laud Ashley Cole as the best left back in the world owes a fair amount to the fact that world-class left backs are not available in any great profusion right now. Not that he isn't a great player because clearly he is; he has the medals to prove it and is about to earn his 100th cap for England.

For years, England fans have lamented the lack of left-sided players available to play for the national team but, finally, we now at least have two left backs who, in my view, are both capable of replacing the other. Much like the "Shilton or Clemence" debate all those years ago, I am particularly fascinated to see how this battle between Leighton Baines and Cole will turn out.

In theory, Cole is so reliable that he could play on for his country for another four or five years, but the form of Baines so far this season has not only eclipsed his rival for the England slot but that of nearly every other player in the Premier League.

But should Baines find himself stranded on England's bench indefinitely, he can at least draw comfort from the fact that the man keeping him out is at the very least his equal. Let me tell you, there is nothing worse than watching a fellow professional selected ahead of you who isn't fit to lace your boots. This is where the politics start ...and this is what I will be speaking about in my column on The Secret Footballer.com this Saturday...

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

H

e looked like he was playing with a plastic pound shop ball in the wind against Juve, his passing was so bad.

paddy7s
Sergio Ramos: Exactly What United Need

Latest Photos

Footer 365

England bow out of Women's World Cup after added-time own goal

Laura Bassett's added-time own goal saw England exit the Women's World Cup with an agonising 2-1 defeat to Japan.

Dani Osvaldo leaves Southampton two years early

Southampton have terminated the contract of record signing Dani Osvaldo.

Slaven Bilic missing from West Ham bench for Europa League opener

Academy manager Terry Westley will be in charge when West Ham make their Europa League debut against Andorran side FC Lusitans.

Mail Box

Are United Aiming Too High On Transfers?

One mailer wonders whether United are aiming a little high on their transfer ambitions. Plus, BAHs, West Ham in Europe, petty annoyances and Michu to United...

Liverpool Are Attractive To Strikers

You've got little competition and bags of service from midfield, so surely strikers would love to join Liverpool? Plus England's future, Callum Wilson handshakes and...

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