Earlier today Jason posted an article about the mounting injury list facing England. I am devastated for Jay Rodriguez, a player who is in fine form experiencing the worst injury of his career at completely the wrong time, however I know we can live without Jay Rodriguez. Theo Walcott? It would be nice to see him back, but again, we can survive without him. I like Wilshere, but his form has been plagued by spells on the sideline, and we have cover at his position. So who exactly could we not afford to lose?
I certainly don't know the right answer. Some would suggest it to be Wayne Rooney, but we have often spoken at length about the possibility that our style would be far more dynamic without him in the line-up, the free-flowing football of Liverpool wouldn't be able to run with Rooney in the side in my humble opinion. He likes to put his foot on the ball, slow it down and then look to drive forward. Where as the front line that includes Sturridge and Sterling will look to move the ball quickly, constantly going forward.
The only real player I could put my finger on would be Steven Gerrard. After seeing that captains display for Liverpool against Manchester City on Sunday and his post-match emotions, I couldn't help but think that if he were to pick-up an injury and miss out on the World Cup, England would be well and truly stuffed. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he leads by example. In our friendly last month, he was the one closing people down in the 90th minute, for an established guy like Gerrard that is remarkable.
If we lose Stevie G, we lose a lot of leadership, we lose a lot of quality and we lose a lot of energy. We've already got quite the task ahead in relation to getting out of the group, without those qualities I'm not sure we would stand a chance. He needs to be paired with the right team-mates in midfield, but I'm confident that he is probably still our best player for the 2014 World Cup, and I would certainly say he is out most important player.
So who in your opinion, can we simply not afford to lose?