Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Downing Could Be Right for England's Left, Says Eriksson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Downing Could Be Right for England's Left, Says Eriksson

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON believes Stewart Downing could hold the key to England's left-sided problem at next year's World Cup.

The England head coach, answering questions at a fans' forum at Upton Park, said the Middlesbrough winger could be ready for the national team by the time the tournament starts in Germany in 2006.

Eriksson tomorrow names his squad for England's two-match tour of the United States and Downing, who has one cap, is expected to be included along with Southampton striker Peter Crouch and Crystal Palace's Andy Johnson.

Eriksson said: "Stewart could be ready for the World Cup.

Before, I picked Joe Cole and waited for him to be ready.

Suddenly he has become ready, so you never know.

"The left-sided player does not have to be left-footed. It would be good to have a left-footer but there is a small percentage of them. You can dream about it but sometimes you don't find one."

Meanwhile, criticism of England's tour grew today after it emerged their clash with Colombia was the curtain raiser for a Major League Soccer match between New York Metrostars and Chicago Fire. …

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