By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger says there is no need for England to be pessimistic about their World Cup chances after Wayne Bridge announced that he does not wish to be considered for international duty.
The Manchester City defender described his position in the England squad as "untenable and potentially divisive" in the light of allegations surrounding his former team-mate for club and country, John Terry.
With Ashley Cole currently sidelined with a broken ankle and a doubt for the tournament, England have been left short at left-back ahead of this summer's World Cup.
However, 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."