All the talk in the coming months will be of Gary Cahill and his transition from relegation strugglers Bolton to title contenders Chelsea.
Cahill has only seven international caps to his name. However, he has been a defensive wall and even netted against Bulgaria in September.
The coming months will determine whether or not Cahill will partner his new captain in Euro 2012.
If Cahill takes to life at Chelsea, all the odds are surely in his favour.
Capello is going to favour a pairing that works at club level, as after all that has been the main issue with the English side in recent years; a lack of team chemistry.
A perfect example is the disjointed football that comes when Lampard and Gerrard attempt to play together.
There is no denying that in their prime they were both top English talents in the Premier League. However, when combined, very little was achieved.
Many are of the opinion that trying to play the two together was a “square peg, round hole” situation and England’s development in this period was stifled by insistence on forcing the two to play together.
Another example is the Ferdinand-Terry partnership: so highly rated as individuals yet cannot play together.
It is painful to think how much time was spent living in fear of dropping such big names when in actual fact all they did was disappoint and keep other talent out of the team.
Having Cahill and Terry partner each other both at club and international level will surely eradicate this problem, create a solid defence and allow England to showcase the attacking talent we all know they have.
The key to England’s Euro chances lies in avoiding what they did before the World Cup—recalling a number of “safe” players, e.g. Ledley King and Jamie Carragher.
We saw Carragher struggle against players who were yards quicker than he was, and post-World Cup he slipped back into retirement unnoticed.
Surely a better option would have been to put a player of the future into the team, if nothing else for experience on the big stage.
No other option is as appealing as Cahill. Phil Jagielka has been too inconsistent, Phil Jones is too inexperienced, Joleon Lescott has not earned a starting place, Micah Richards is unfortunately ignored by Capello and Ferdinand is both injured too often and has let the country down on the big stage frequently.
While the coming months will determine whether or not Cahill will sink or swim, it is so important to consider how valuable addition team chemistry will be.
International teams do not train together all year round, so having players who play together regularly will always be an advantage.
For too long England managers have thrown players onto the pitch and expected miracles.
The time to realise that no matter how talented a group of players is, if they do not play as a team they will not win, is now.
With a solid defence behind them there is simply no telling how far England could go. Let’s keep our fingers crossed Cahill and Terry bond in the not-too-distant future.