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  Monday, 25 February, 2002, 12:58 GMT
Worthington World Cup warnings
David Dunn in action for England U-21s against Holland
David Dunn has impressed for England at U-21 level
By BBC Sport Online's Tom Fordyce

The dust has settled on Blackburn's Worthington Cup triumph over Spurs, but the repercussions have only just begun.

For players on both sides, Sunday's final was the ideal stage on which to push for inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup plans.

But which players impressed the watching Tord Grip, and which failed to take their chance?


Teddy Sheringham

Sheringham's role in the Spurs revival was the focus of much pre-match discussion.

But the 35-year-old endured his worst game in a Tottenham shirt this season and was unrecognisable from his usual influential self.

Teddy Sheringham lays off the ball for England against Greece
Sheringham showed poor touch in Cardiff

His passing was off, his touch poor and his lack of pace, for once, all too evident.

Sheringham is still likely to figure in Eriksson's World Cup squad. His performances in England's qualifier against Greece and friendly against Mexico should guarantee that.

But even if he had been awarded and then scored that late penalty against Blackburn, his chances of starting for England alongside Michael Owen had already diminished.


Andy Cole

Early in his tenure of England manager, Eriksson showed more faith in Cole than his predecessors, sticking with him despite a mediocre scoring rate in international football.

Andy Cole lines up for England against Holland in August 2001
Cole's strike may take him to the World Cup

When the form of Ruud van Nistelrooy kept Cole on the Manchester United bench, he fell behind Owen, Heskey, Fowler and Sheringham in the England pecking-order.

The goal-scoring debut of Darius Vassell this month cast even more doubt over Cole's chances of going to Japan and South Korea.

But his opportunistic strike to win the Worthington Cup final will serve as an excellent reminder of his abilities.

And Cole's decision to swap table-topping United for relegation-threatened Blackburn has been vindicated in spectacular fashion.


Darren Anderton

Anderton made his England comeback against Sweden in November and would have started against Holland a fortnight ago but for injury.

Eriksson is believed to be interested in playing the Spurs man on the left-hand side of midfield - but the performance of two Blackburn players may have forced him to think again.

Darren Anderton on the run for England against Sweden
Anderton: Outshone by the veteran Hughes

Anderton was kept quiet by the 38-year-old Mark Hughes - with all respect, a lesser player than he can expect to come up against at the World Cup.

And Rovers were inspired by the tireless running and clever promptings of 22-year-old David Dunn - a naturally left-sided player.

Anderton was far from the only Tottenham international who underperformed - but with competition for England midfield places intense, he could ill afford such an anonymous display.


David Dunn

Every time a World Cup comes around, one or two players make a late dash for inclusion in the England squad.

Think Michael Owen four years ago, or David Platt in 1990.

David Dunn cuts inside for England Under-21s
Dunn's display drew praise from Graeme Souness

Dunn may have timed his bid as well as he timed his passes and midfield breaks at the Millennium Stadium.

Already established in the Under-21 side, Dunn is rated by his manager Graeme Souness as better than Joe Cole.

And Eriksson's search for a naturally left-sided midfielder may ensure a promotion to the senior ranks for Dunn before England's next friendly against Italy.


Matt Jansen

Jansen's goal on Sunday was overshadowed by Cole's strike and the controversy over Spurs' late penalty claim.

Matt Jansen in England Under-21 action
Jansen's goal gives him a slight chance of a call-up

One of the most popular players at Blackburn, Jansen has adapted to the Premiership well, having struggled as part of the Rovers team that was relegated from the top flight in 1999.

This World Cup may be a tournament too soon for him - particularly with the return to form of his strike partner Cole.

But he proved himself unfazed by the big-match atmosphere, troubled the experienced Spurs defence and even knocked in that goal with his 'wrong' right foot.


Ledley King

King would have made his senior England debut against Holland had he not been laid low by tonsillitis on the eve on the game.

Eriksson assured the 21-year-old that he would be given another a chance, and the mistake King made for Cole's winner is unlikely to change that.

Ledley King playing for England Under-21s
King's mistake let in Cole for the Worthington winner

King looked as assured as ever when stepping out of defence, and it is his comfort on the ball coming forward that brought him to Eriksson's attention.

The Swede knows defenders at international level have to be able to play - witness Blanc at his best, Desailly a few years back and Ronald Koeman a decade ago.

And with John Terry seemingly out of the World Cup reckoning due to his off-field problems, King's position as England's most promising young defender remains unchallenged.


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