Everton finally put the finishing gloss on a polished performance this weekend as they defeated Reading by three goals to one at Goodison Park with the performance of Steven Pienaar in particular catching the eye.
However there was a hint of regret at the end of the game when it emerged that star defender Phil Jagielka had suffered a rather nasty ankle injury in a challenge with Adam Le Fondre. Knowing the temperament and personality of the Reading striker I believe his post-match apology was nothing but sincere and while a nasty looking challenge it was purely accidental. Regardless it has left ‘Jags’ having to undergo surgery on the damaged joint.
It remains to be seen how long he will be out of action for but initial reports suggest he will miss England’s next fixtures against San Marino and Montenegro on the 22nd and 26th March respectively.
Among the current four selections for the England team personally I feel Jagielka has had a far superior season to Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling so with him out it gives Roy Hodgson a difficult selection dilemma ahead of the games in Serravalle and Podgorica.
Yet it also gives him no excuse to continue ignoring Tottenham centre-back Michael Dawson. The 29-year-old has shown incredible character to return from a tumultuous summer and prove his worth to manager Andre Villas Boas and any remaining doubters in the general public with his assured displays from centre back.
None of the aforementioned English centre-backs have come anywhere near the performance level of Tottenham’s captain this season and to not call him up to the squad in favour of his Spurs understudy Steven Caulker or Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross would be criminal. In fact not starting him in San Marino would be verging on the same spectrum.
His current tally of four caps is low due to the competition previously presented by the likes of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher and the man he followed as Spurs captain Ledley King. With those four no longer in his way and Dawson in the form of his life not giving him the chance to prove his worth as England’s current best centre back would not be fair treatment.
Do you think Dawson will receive a call-up for the international double header?
image: © geetarchurchy