Wayne Bridge has hardly been out of the news recently but not for the reasons he and City would have hoped for.
Ever since it has come to light that Chelsea’s John Terry had an affair with Bridge’s then girlfriend, the spotlight has fallen not only on Terry but on Bridge and his ability to cope with the scandal.
There have been reports the City left back would give up international football entirely but that may all change thanks to Ashley Cole’s injury. The Chelsea defender broke his ankle during the midweek defeat at Everton and it has thrown his chances of appearing at the World Cup in doubt. England have until 1st June to name their squad for South Africa and Cole is expected to be out for around three months, taking him extremely close to FIFA’s cut-off point.
His possible absence has now raised two very big questions: Will Bridge replace Cole and can he play alongside Terry?
Bridge is really the only recognised left back with experience of playing for England. Should Cole miss the tournament then it will really be down to Bridge to take over which will mean playing alongside Terry
City boss Roberto Mancini has backed his defender should the national side come knocking. “The national team is important. I have not spoken to him but I think, if he is picked, he will play. It is important for any player to play at the World Cup. It is important for their career, especially if they can play in the first XI,” said the Italian.
It’s a difficult situation for Bridge where personal pride will need to take a step aside for the sake of the national side but the defender is mature enough to handle such a situation. Bridge knows that this year probably represents England’s best chance of winning the trophy and, if they do he could very well be coming home from South Africa with a World Cup winner’s medal.
That itself will be enough incentive for both players.