England manager Roy Hodgson says the form of Leighton Baines may mean that he may eventually have to ‘disappoint’ Ashley Cole.
The Chelsea stalwart has been his nation’s automatic choice at left-back for approaching a decade and has represented England at no fewer than four major tournaments.
Baines, however, has been the standout performer in an Everton side who have maintained a challenge for a Champions League qualifying spot.
While Hodgson has indicated that he will field Cole for his 100th international cap against Brazil on Wednesday, the England manager anticipates a tough decision in the future.
He told reporters: “There will be a time when both are fit and raring to go and we have an important match when both want to start. I’ll have to disappoint one of them.
“But that’s how it should be if you are the manager of a top football nation.
“A country like ours should have a couple of good choices in each position. The Brazilians do. I look at their squad and there’s probably another 10 or 12 that we could name that could easily have got in there.
“It might be nice one day if our discussions focused around how you have two fantastic left-backs, three fantastic right-backs, eight fantastic centre-backs; what are you going to do?
“The answer is, I’m going to pick 11 players, make the others disappointed and make sure we win.”