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A New Face to Lead England

Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton are two names that mean English soccer. But question marks must hang over both during the 1970/71 international season, which leads up to the home countries championship in May.

The bigger question mark is that against Charlton’s name. The first gentleman of football has a shot or two left in his locker yet, but the time must come when he steps aside for a younger man.

With Inside Football columnist Brian Kidd for a place a striker, and Colin Bell surely destined to become the automatic choice in midfield, this could be Charlton’s last fling for England.

The case of Moore is different. He had a great World Cup, as a defender. To ask whether it is time to start looking for a more mobile, dynamic man to captain England might set the pulses racing around Upton Park, but it must be asked.

Room will soon have to be found for young players like Roy McFarland and David Sadler, and the aggressive Emlyn Hughes must capture a regular place in the very near future. Moore could find himself under pressure.

On the subject of the captaincy, a Alan Ball, now skippering Everton, might seem an obvious choice. But there are still doubts about his temperament.

Colin Bell has the intelligence to fill the post, but he might be better left free to use his skills without the added worries of captaincy.

The man who could come through, in fact, is Hughes. This great multipurpose Liverpool player is a constant inspiration to his fellow players, and his infectious enthusiasm and determination, allied to great natural skill, make him a reasonable bet to lead England onto the playing field of Germany for World Cup 74.

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