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Arsenal boss Wenger: England should not panic over left-back issues

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists England's World Cup hopes haven't collapsed over problems at left-back.

Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole is struggling with a fractured ankle, while Manchester City's Wayne Bridge has withdrawn from selection.

But Wenger says Fabio Capello still has options in the position, citing the form of Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock and Everton's Leighton Baines.

"Injuries are part of the game," said the Frenchman. "Cole isn't completely out of the World Cup, so why are you so pessimistic?

"I rate Bridge. His technique and penetration, he's good going forward and has good power, a good shot and a good cross.

"He's the best English left-back after Ashley Cole. You have Leighton Baines and Stephen Warnock as well. Cole is No 1 and Bridge No 2 and after that the two others are coming up to international level.

"Warnock has developed very well this season and Baines as well. Baines has increased his power, is more reliable defensively. They are very promising, both of them.

"England have still got a chance at the World Cup. Anything can happen to any country. Who is guaranteed to go to the World Cup with all their players? Nobody. The problem is you have to cope with that."

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Tribal Football Staff

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