With the Wold Cup just a few months away, the managers of all the nations must be having a tough time selecting from a pool of players. England manager Roy Hodgson and his assistants are no exceptions with the vast number of players at their disposal.
Today we take a look at the right-back position and try to look at the best man at the moment in that position for the Three Lions.
There are two clear options for Roy Hodgson at the right back slot with one being the experienced campaigner Glen Johnson and the other one being youngster Kyle Walker.
If the World Cup would have been held a year ago, we could have safely placed our bet on Glen Johnson, so fine had been his performance for Liverpool the previous season. He was the stalwart of the club at the back and his attacking runs posed a threat to the defences.
But this season, Johnson has not been in the best of forms with a lot of speculation arising on his new contract. The Liverpool right-back has come out and revealed that he has not heard nothing about extending his current contract, which runs out in the summer of 2015.
On the other hand Kyle Walker has been extremely promising for his club Tottenham Hotspur this term and had his club not been in the shambles that they are right now, he could have been projected as one of the better right-backs of the Premier League.
Now let us take a look at the statistics of both the players and try and reach a conclusion.
While taking a note of the figures, we must take into account the fact that Glen Johnson had been injured for a substantial period of time this season and that has certainly played an adverse role on his performances. During his absence, youngsters such as Jon Flanagan has emerged for the club and with a potential change of guard from next season.
We find that statistics-wise there is not much of a difference between the two men.
While Johnson can boast of the 5 average numbers of defensive actions per game, Walker has a slightly better figure of 6. Both of them have won 56% of the average duels that they have faced against opponents.
Even their average pass accuracy shows a common 82%, a number which would definitely bring a smile on Roy Hodgson’s face.
While Johnson is yet to open his goal scoring account this season from the 19 matches that he has played, Walker has scored a single goal playing 7 more matches.
The facts may make life more difficult for Hodgson to choose among any of them, but it should be on his mind that while Liverpool have played an attacking brand of football most of the season, outplaying their opposition and in turn exposing the defence and conceding freely, Spurs have been relatively tighter at the back and most of their points have come because of their defensive rigidity.
But at such a big stage as the World Cup, Hodgson may preferably go with experience and thus Johnson should edge out his much younger rival for the spot in the national team.
Stats taken from Squawka.