Much has been made over the English national team’s 1-0 win at Wembley over World Champion Spain, most of the commentary centering on the Three Lion’s steely defense.
In the greatest insult they could apparently muster, the Spanish media characterized the English display as positively “Italian,” alluding to a primarily negative defensive mentality championed by the Azzuri. England’s defense had to be in rare form against a tiki-taka Spanish attack that has unraveled many a back line.
That England did not concede a goal to David Villa and Co. has a lot to do with their center-back duo of Phil Jagielka and Joleon Lescott. The two defenders had a brilliant night, sniffing out ball after clever ball the Spaniards tried to needle between them.
This pairing is a fairly recent choice by Fabio Capello owing to team captain John Terry recent legal troubles. Though Terry was on the bench at Wembley, he didn’t see a minute on the pitch and might not if Jagielka and Lescott continue playing this way.
Capello should seriously consider the possibility of starting the two relative newcomers come Euro 2012. Here are a few reasons why.