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Sven's Spurs dilemmas

Posted on 4 October 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Sven Goran Eriksson has a few dilemmas for England's World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Azerbaijan - all involving Spurs players!

The England boss has to decide whether or not to keep Paul Robinson as his first-choice goalkeeper, to bring back Rio Ferdinand or Sol Campbell or both in place of Ledley King and John Terry and, up front, to stick with Jermain Defoe now that Wayne Rooney is back.

Jermain's plight might be helped by Michael Owen picking up an injury in action for Real Madrid on Sunday.

Eriksson said: "I think as a manager you should try to be loyal to your players and I hope they are loyal to me. That's respect. But I can assure you if I think I have one player sitting on the bench who is better than somebody who normally plays then no doubt I will play them.

"It's not like I have favourites. I'm trying to make the best possible team every time I pick it. So of course Defoe still has a chance against Wales.

"The most important thing is the training sessions we have. You will see at once if the players are down, on good form, if they are sharp and so on."

As for Ledley King, Eriksson added on "It gives me a problem but a nice one. An extremely good problem to have.

"If you talk about Campbell and Ferdinand in Japan they were the best central defenders in the whole tournament - and I think I'm not the only one saying that.

"What I can see with Rio now is that he's very hungry for football and Manchester United are very happy to have him back. He's a leader, he was the captain on Tuesday for his club which was nice to see, and he gives calm to the back line.

"But also we have Ledley King and John Terry playing extremely maturely and very well for England. I think we have four very good central defenders now.

"It's almost luxury to have four centre-halves like that, but we have it. Who is going to play? Well, I have ideas but the training will decide that. And whatever I choose it's a good choice!"

The selection debate continues between the posts as well as in front of them because Eriksson must also decide whether to recall David James in goal or stick with Paul Robinson. Yet another tough call!

"I haven't decided," insisted Eriksson again. "I will wait until we come together. I think at that time it was the right decision to take to leave out David James in Poland but I told him that just because I dropped him his life with England wasn't over.

"In fact, James has been playing very well for Manchester City since that game, but so has Robinson and so has Robert Green to be fair."