The Sporting Chameleon

an absolute cheesecake of a sports blog

King and Carragher live the dream

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IT IS SAID that every young English boy dreams of playing football for England.

But the games in those dreams are never played in Minsk, Almaty or Dnipropetrovsk.

Which means that Ledley King and Jamie Carragher have made Matthew Upson look like a bit of a fool.

Upson battles with Slovenia's Zlatko Dedic during September's Wembley friendly.

In their ten World Cup qualifying games, England used four different centre-backs.

Two of those – Rio Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott – are not at the World Cup.

And of the three centre-backs used by Fabio Capello in the World Cup opener, only one – John Terry- featured in those qualifying matches.

The other two – King and Carragher – had never featured under Capello until the warm-up friendlies. Indeed neither had played for England since June 2007.

Upson, on the other hand, has been lugging his Marks and Spencer suit all over Eastern Europe’s less glamorous football locations.

But now, just in time for the international matches that are worth playing, King and Carragher have returned to the squad, after deciding respectively that a dodgy knee and retirement were no barrier to appearing in a World Cup.

Except in yesterday’s match against the USA it backfired.

For King it turned out that having fully-functioning legs was a prerequisite for playing international football and he had to be substituted at half-time.

Carragher was his replacement and was fully merked by Jozy Altidore, a player who scored only once in 28 appearances for Hull City this season.

Maybe Upson will be handed the chance his dues deserve after all.

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