Southgate’s latest squad selection is a concerning contradiction

Written by Tom Cayless.

Just three months before England kick off their delayed Euro 2020 journey, Gareth Southgate has released his squad for the upcoming World-Cup qualifiers. The selection is surprising to say the least. 

Golden generations don’t come about often, hence the name, but England have found themselves with two in the past 20 years. The last one failed significantly, the furthest that team made was three quarter finals. It is criminal the fact that a side featuring the likes of Rooney, Beckham and Lampard, all at the peak of their powers, didn’t win anything and something like this cannot happen again. 

Surely three months before a tournament you’d think that a manager would choose a squad as close to the one he wants at the tournament as possible, but to most people this doesn’t seem to be the case. However, if it is the case and players such as Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier are in Southgate’s plans for the summer, a lot of hope will be sucked out of fans that have longed for international success. 

The former under 21s coach has always prided himself on choosing players based on their form and not because of the club they play for, nevertheless this doesn’t seem to be the case this time round. He described Kieran Trippier as being in ‘exceptional form’ in his presser after the announcement, he’s played five games since the 1st of December and has taken the place of Trent Alexander-Arnold… 

Eric Dier hasn’t started in four league games and whenever he has played he hasn’t performed to the levels wanted from an English international. The likes of Micheal Keane and Craig Dawson should feel unlucky to miss out because of Dier’s attendance. 

A few Chelsea fans we spoke to also expressed their views on how Ben Chilwell is perhaps fortunate to make the squad after a ‘dramatic dip in form’, in which he has lost his place in Thomas Tuchel’s starting 11. West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell has been excellent this season, contributing to 7 assists in the Premier League. It’s quite a strange decision and a big contradiction to the philosophy Southgate bases his squad selection on. 

Jadon Sancho. Jordan Henderson, Jordan Pickford and Jack Grealish are all out injured for this round of fixtures, despite this, they’ll almost definitely make the EURO 2020 squad. Southgate will also have to cut an additional three players from the current 26 man squad. Trent Alexander-Arnold should also make it, this leaves the England boss with a big selection headache to make ahead of the summer. He has one shot at choosing the right squad and needs to make it count, otherwise the whole nation will have been failed by their international manager again.

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