Leighton Baines Must Be Given a Chance to Establish Himself with England

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Leighton Baines Must Be Given a Chance to Establish Himself with England
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

With Ashley Cole currently in fine form for Chelsea and set to win his 100th England cap in the upcoming friendly against Brazil, things could not look much better for the player.

However, now is the time for Ashley Cole to step aside for England and let Leighton Baines take on the mantle.

With another outstanding performance, including two goals, against West Brom last night he gets better and better with every single performance. Baines is simply outstanding going forward. He can attack outside the opposition full back and whip in brilliant crosses, or he can venture inside and take a shot on, like he did so successfully for his first goal against West Brom.

However, unlike other attacking full backs he does not let his role interfere with his defensive duties.

He ensures that he performs his role as a left back first and foremost and there are not many wingers who have got the better of Baines over the last few years.

With Roy Hodgson slowly in the process of trying to mould a new England side for the future, now might be the time to ease Ashley Cole out of the starting line up. It might seem harsh, and Cole has played well this season but Baines has been better. It really is as simple as that.

If Hodgson really doesn't want to push Cole out of the side then he must find a way to let Baines in. Despite experimenting with a couple of different formations, Hodgson does lean towards playing an orthodox 4-4-2 formation. Baines would be perfect to play on the left hand side of that midfield. Without the same defensive restrictions he could run riot for England. There is also the added bonus that he is lethal from the penalty spot, which for so long has been England's biggest downfall.

Now is the time for Baines to be given the chance he has deserved for so long.

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