England's decline at centre-back has been swift and staggering. They once could have chosen from Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Sol Campbell, Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Jamie Carragher, but now, they have a small pool of centre-halves who lack the ability of their predecessors.
An embarrassment of riches has been reduced to a small pool of decent players.
Of the current crop, Gary Cahill is the standout defender; his form at Chelsea this season has been excellent, his place in England's starting XI now secure. However, who plays alongside him is still far from certain.
Phil Jagielka appears to be in pole position to partner Cahill, but having missed 11 of Everton's last 13 league matches at the end of last season, he is still feeling his way back to form and fitness.
Manchester United pair Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are Hodgson's alternatives, but neither impressed in the recent friendly with Ecuador, leaving Jagielka as the most likely starter vs. Italy.