Baines should be England first-choice at World Cup, say Goal Singapore readers

The Everton left-back is jostling with Chelsea's Ashley Cole and surprise contender Luke Shaw of Southampton to be number one in Brazil for Roy Hodgson's men
For a long time, Ashley Cole has occupied the England left-back spot with no credible challenges.

However, that seems set to change with the likes of Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw sniffing around. Now, ahead of the World Cup this June, Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson has suggested that Cole's position is not assured.

"For years people have been understudy to Ashley. Now it's Ashley's turn to sit back," the England manager told reporters last month.

"We know what Ashley can do. We know how fit he keeps himself, how experienced he is. I certainly wouldn't write Ashley Cole out of any plans because he isn't playing in his club team. 

"But he will have to accept, like everyone else, that the competition for his place in the club team and international team gets stronger all the time, and I will have a decision to make.

Everton defender Baines recently returned from injury to first-team football and is the undisputed starter at his club, while Cole has managed 13 Premier League games this season for Chelsea as compared to the former's 21. Meanwhile, Shaw has done superbly for Southampton in this campaign and was recently handed a first call-up for the friendly against Denmark on Thursday. He made his debut at half-time in a 1-0 win, replacing Cole. In terms of age, Cole, 33, also loses out to Baines, 29 and Shaw, 18.

The majority of Goal Singapore readers believe that Cole is no longer the best choice and that Baines will be the better option for England in Brazil, with 49.1% indicating that the latter is their preferred choice. In fact, Cole is the least favoured out of the three, with 27.8% choosing Shaw as compared to only 23.2% for him.