Padraig Harrington can save Nick Faldo and fill a massive Ryder Cup black hole as Europe's undisputed No 1.

That's the view of pal Paul McGinley, who received an SOS call from the triple major winner to discuss skipper Faldo's controversial Ryder Cup picks.

Faldo expects Harrington to prove his worth and step up as one of Europe's strongmen at Valhalla later this month.

But while McGinley reckons that Harrington will have no problem leading with his play on the course, he believes the single-minded English skipper is now under massive pressure to get his pairings spot on or face a massive backlash.

McGinley revealed: "The dynamic in the team room is going to be different this year - very different. Like everyone else I was very surprised that he didn't pick Darren Clarke because he has taken a whole lot of experience out of the team.

"He believes there is a changing of the guard going on - that's his instinct and he's acted on that with his picks as well as everything else. Okay. That's fine. That's his opinion.

"But it leaves a big hole of experience in the team, though not an inexperienced team at the same time. What he does have to do now is rewrite the script now in terms of pairings."

Harrington has yet to sound off on Faldo's wildcard choices and will not rock the boat at this stage.

But he made sure to sound out McGinley's opinion in a transatlantic heart-to-heart on Monday night.

McGinley said: "We had a long conversation about everything and all I can say is that he's ready for it. There is no doubt about the fact that Padraig is the No 1 player on the European team.

"He is not an in-your-face type of guy in the team room and he will do things his way. He will step out of the limelight and let other guys, like Sergio Garcia, play the flamboyant, in-your-face character.

"Sergio will be very much the leader on the course in terms of flamboyancy. Padraig will be the leader in terms of being the best player there.

"But Padraig is such an adaptable character that Faldo has obviously got some ideas in mind for him and we will see where it goes.

"He has obviously got some pairings in mind for him and he might go with countries - Harrington and Graeme McDowell, Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson, Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter."

Privately, Harrington and the senior players are worried about the change in the team atmosphere with Clarke and Colin Montgomerie now out in the cold.

But like Harrington, McGinley doesn't want to be critical of the choices made by the European skipper and is doing his best to present a united front as his tour pals bid to retain the Ryder Cup from September 19-21.

According to McGinley, the pairings issue is a headache for Faldo and making the right choices will make or break Europe's bid for a fourth successive win.

McGinley added: "There have been a lot of pairings in place over the last ten years particularly - a lot of successful pairings. Now that a lot of the personnel has changed and there are not a lot of obvious pairings there.

"So there is a big onus on Nick Faldo and a lot of pressure on Nick Faldo to get the pairings right. I think our team is stronger than theirs, even though they will be more unified without Tiger Woods. But it is vital that he gets the pairings right and he is going to have top make a lot of big calls.

"And if he does get them right, I think we have enough strength in there to bring us through get the job done. Faldo's playing record has to be respected and his knowledge of the game.

"But he has to write a new script in terms of pairings so there is a big onus on him and it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

"There are so many permutations and he will talk to them at the practice rounds and see who they fancy and don't fancy playing with. All those things, which we won't be privy too.

"Faldo has gone with what he believes and we can't judge him yet. It is too early. It is best to give him the best chance to go out and do the best he can. The last thing I want to do is be critical of him."

McGinley revealed that he has also had a call from controversial wildcard Ian Poulter to discuss the Ryder Cup.

And that could be interpreted as an indication that Faldo has made a massive mistake by not asking McGinley to return to the fold as a vice-captain.

Highly respected by all the players in the side, McGinley could have been a huge asset to Europe as a backroom sounding board alongside Faldo's sole helper Jose Maria Olazabal.

But McGinley refused to go down that road, explaining: "That case is closed. I wish him and Ollie and all the players the best of luck. If I comment on that it sounds like I am going to criticise him. I don't wnant to be in a situation where I am criticising him.

"He decided not to bring me back into the fold and I am have no issues with that. I wish him the best of luck. Off they go. I will be rooting for them."