World Cup 2010 - Squadwatch: Defoe's woes

Tue, 04 May 15:19:00 2010

John Terry and Jermain Defoe are still struggling to justify their likely World Cup selections, but Tom Huddlestone could force himself into the reckoning.

Jermain Defoe 2010 England Profile - 0

How it works

We use our Team of the Week formula, which averages marks out of 10 from the national newspapers, to give players a rating for each game they start.

To determine their form, we take the average rating from their last five Premier League starts. Players are listed in their most likely position for England, NOT for their clubs.

We have selected two players from each outfield position in a 4-4-2 formation, plus three goalkeepers. Players not in bold are those still in contention, but out of the squad on present form.

The untouchables

Despite Fabio Capello's claims that form is everything going into the World Cup, a number of players are all but guaranteed selection, regardless of their performances between now and May.

The nine untouchables who are shown asterisked on the squad selector below are: Ashley Cole, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry, Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe.


Fabio Capello could be facing a few uncomfortable decisions when he comes to naming his 23-man squad for the World Cup, with several players who would once have been rock-solid choices now starting to look as if they might crumble.

Take Terry. The former skipper is still not playing well enough to justify his 'untouchable' status, with Ryan Shawcross now above him on our list.

Also letting the untouchables down is Defoe (pictured0 - and we might even re-think that status if he doesn't fire in his last two outings of the season.

Defoe has now gone seven matches without scoring from open play, and has slipped behind Darren Bent, Emile Heskey and even Kevin Davies in the ratings. Yet with Bobby Zamora struggling slightly since the England spotlight started shining on him, Defoe still has a decent chance of being on the pitch at kick-off come June 12.

The irony is that one of Defoe's team-mates at Spurs has been playing well enough to suggest that he could be worth a punt: Tom Huddlestone, whose energetic displays in midfield have suggested that he could be a useful impact sub at international level, and who is gathering higher ratings than Gareth Barry.

In goal, at least things are beginning to look clearer and clearer, with a trio in place that would raise few eyebrows if it ended up being the final choice.

When we started this Squadwatch feature David James was on our 'untouchables' list, but such were his gaffe-strewn efforts around that time that we cancelled his imaginary plane ticket to South Africa and forced him to fight for his starting spot.

Thankfully the 39-year-old has done just that, putting in some great displays in the last few weeks to remind Fabio Capello that when he's good, he's very, very good.

(And let's just agree to forget about the 'when he's bad he's horrid' bit that finishes off that nursery rhyme.)

- - - - - - - - - -

KEY: *Asterisk = Untouchable; Bold = In the squad; Not bold = Not in the squad


David James 7.27

Joe Hart 6.73

Robert Green 6.33

Chris Kirkland 6.26

Paul Robinson 6.20


*Glen Johnson 6.71

Phil Neville 6.67

Gary Neville 6.05

Wes Brown 5.86

Micah Richards 5.72


Michael Dawson 6.93

Ledley King 6.93

*Rio Ferdinand 6.65

Ryan Shawcross 6.40

*John Terry 6.39

Joleon Lescott 6.33

Gary Cahill 5.99

Matthew Upson 5.53


*Ashley Cole 6.60

Leighton Baines 6.45

Paul Konchesky 5.92

Wayne Bridge 5.80

Stephen Warnock 5.72


Scott Parker 7.27

*Steven Gerrard 7.13

*Frank Lampard 6.86

Tom Huddlestone 6.67

*Gareth Barry 6.53

Michael Carrick 6.19

Jermaine Jenas 5.85


Aaron Lennon 7.09

James Milner 6.87

Adam Johnson 6.60

Joe Cole 6.07

Ashley Young 5.93

Theo Walcott 5.93

Stewart Downing 5.87

Shaun Wright-Phillips 5.47


*Wayne Rooney 6.80

Peter Crouch 6.40

Darren Bent 6.40

Kevin Davies 6.26

Emile Heskey 6.05

*Jermain Defoe 6.00

Carlton Cole 5.93

Gabriel Agbonlahor 5.87

Bobby Zamora 5.79


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