In Saturday's 1-0 win at Norway, England were left with one sour note about coach Roy Hodgson's positive start as manager.
That, of course, was the apparent injury to Gareth Barry, who could only last 26 minutes before having to be replaced. After coming on as a half-time substitute for Steven Gerrard, Barry took over the armband until pulling up with clear discomfort in his abdomen.
The Manchester City midfielder was then sent for a scan Monday, where it was determined that he would be unfit for play in Poland and Ukraine.
It's a blow for England, as Roy Hodgson intimated with his comments:
“I’m very disappointed to lose Gareth, not only was he a member of my original 23-man squad but he has featured prominently in the England team over the last few years. I know how much he wanted to be part of the tournament but I’m sure he will still have a part to play with England after the Euros. I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Barry was a part of the 2010 World Cup squad, but was not fully fit and failed to show great form. Hence, news of his departure as opposed to attempting to give him a go may be best for England.
Barry will be replaced by Everton midfielder Phil Jagielka, who was called up today.
Jagielka brings much less international experience to the table than Barry, as he has just about a fifth of the number of caps as the man he replaces. Further, Jagielka does not have nearly the cannon shot that Barry does, cannot pass as well, and is not as versatile in midfield.
Barry even lent himself to penalties, where he had established himself as cool from the spot.
However, for all those negatives, Jagielka is great defensively. He proved this in November, when he played 90 minutes for England in their 1-0 victory over Spain.
Though Barry will of course be missed, Jagielka's abilities may be more what England need if they get deeper into the tournament.
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