England defender Phil Jagielka cannot stand it when people call for John Terry to come out of international retirement.
Terry called time on his England career in 2012, accusing the Football Association of making his position within the international set-up “untenable” following their pursuit of a racism charge against him.
Last season Gary Lineker and Danny Mills called for Terry to return to the England fold following a series of impressive performances for Chelsea alongside Gary Cahill.
Manager Roy Hodgson ruled that out, insisting Jagielka and Cahill, along with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, were perfectly capable of playing World Cup football.
After being part of a team that conceded just four goals in qualifying, Jagielka has every right to get a little testy every time someone insists Terry should have been coaxed out of retirement.
“It’s difficult. I can’t say I particularly like to hear it,” Jagielka said when asked about calls for Terry’s return.
“I understand why I do (hear it). Obviously Gaz and JT play together at Chelsea, they play in the Champions League and were contenders to win the Premier League.
“I was asked the other day, that while our attack looks good would our defence be okay. I felt like laughing.
“Our defensive record in the qualifiers was pretty decent, but I can’t stop what people are going to ask. I stop, smile and get on with it.”
He may be fresh-faced and lean after an intense week-long training camp in Portugal, but make no mistake, Jagielka is very much a senior member of this England squad.
At 31, he knows this will probably be his last chance to play on the biggest stage in world football and is determined to make the most of it.
“My career path has been slightly different to some of the lads who have been involved with England since they were teenagers,” said Jagielka, who was an unused substitute during Euro 2012.
“If I had got a chance I would have tried to seize the moment at the Euros, but it wasn’t to be.
“Hopefully I will this time. I know at 31 I won’t be around forever and this could be my one tournament.”
Cahill and Jagielka first played together in England’s 1-1 draw with Ghana in 2011 yet their paths almost crossed four years earlier.
Cahill arrived at Sheffield United on loan just after Jagielka had left for Everton following a nine-year spell at Bramall Lane.
In their 10 appearances together for the national side, they are yet to taste defeat and eight goals have been conceded.
Cahill, who hails from Dronfield just outside of Sheffield, shares a common interest in the red half of the Steel City with Jagielka, which has helped them develop a close relationship.
“He is a Sheffield lad and I played for them so there is plenty to talk about,” Jagielka said.
“Our relationship is a good one.”
The FA insist they are not worried by confirmation that out-of-date food was seized from England’s World Cup hotel in Rio de Janeiro.
Butter, salmon and Parma ham were recently taken from the Royal Tulip hotel in the Sao Conrado district of the city by health inspectors Procon.
Consumer protection authority Procon stated on its website: “In Sao Conrado, at the Hotel Royal Tulip, where the England team will be based, 2.362kg of unusable butter, Parma ham and salmon was seized. The hotel was also fined for not providing condoms to guests.”
An FA spokesman said: “The England chef has visited the Royal Tulip hotel several times and is happy with the cleanliness of the facilities. He will also closely supervise all the players’ food intake.”