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Phil Jones: Could He Fill England's Central Midfield Hole?

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Phil Jones: Could He Fill England's Central Midfield Hole?
Michael Regan/Getty Images
England defenders Phil Hones and Phil Jagielka

After Frank Lampard's thigh injury ruled him out for the Euro's, the England squad is decidedly thin in the center of the midfield.

With Scott Parker still shaking off an Achilles injury, any aggravation of the problem could knock him out of Euro 2012 as well.

That leaves Steven Gerrard and James Milner as the central midfielders, along with Jordan Henderson, who looked anything but confident this season with Liverpool.

It does beg the question then: If Parker gets hurt, and there is any sort of suspension or situation/further injury, does Roy Hodgson trust Henderson to anchor the midfield?

There is a secondary option, and that would be for Phil Jones to drop in as a defensive midfielder.

Hodgson plays a more defensive variant of football than other managers, but it is this kind of setup that might offer England a better chance of advancing to the knockout rounds.

Jones, who probably isn't going to be in the starting XI, has experience in the position, as he was played there from time to time by Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United this season. Partnered with Paul Scholes or Michael Carrick, Jones was able to make runs from deep positions, but he does lack some of the distribution skills that England would probably prefer.

It isn't his best position by any means, but in a pinch, it's perhaps a doable option for England if they need some defensive cover. In a tight situation. His presence in the England midfield might just keep a vital lead safe.

If push came to shove, what would be the best option for the England midfield?

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There's also the option of slotting Phil Jagielka into a holding role. While a little bit better as a distributor of the ball, Jagielka wouldn't be the type to jump into the offensive third very often.

That might suit Hodgson's brand of football better, but if a situation were to arise where England needed a goal, Jagielka may be a little bit more of a passenger than England might need.

A third option, of course, is that England replace any further crocked players with specifically defensive midfielders. The list isn't terribly long, but some potential replacements could be Danny Murphy or Lee Cattermole.

In either scenario, England would first and foremost need a midfield shield for the back line, which both men would be able to provide. It would be a great stop-gap solution without sacrificing other positions to help solidify what was once a strong point in the England national squad.

So, what would your options be? Would the squad be better served using what it already has or would an extra bit of reinforcement help nail down the center of the park?

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England (National Football)

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