Gareth Southgate has revealed the 23 players he will take with him to Russia in just under a month’s time. Standout omissions include midfielders Adam Lallana and Jack Wilshere who, despite their lack of game time, are still outstanding talents.
In his press conference following the announcement, Southgate stated he didn’t intentionally pick a youthful squad and instead picked the players who he believed best suited his and the nation’s philosophy.
The 23-man squad and 5-man reserve list is as follows:
Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young
Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jamie Vardy
Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana
These players make up the third youngest English squad to ever travel to the World Cup Finals, sparking criticism of the manager and coaching staff who many believe are treating this year’s competition as simply a learning curve.
The manager has rebuffed these claims stating that “I don’t think when you play or are involved with England you can ever write off any game or any tournament. That wouldn’t be acceptable,”.
World Cup experience is certainly lacking as only five players have kept their place in the squad from the 2014 edition, with none of them having participated in more than one World Cup Finals before. Granted, in the four years since that tournament, world-class talents have emerged from the youth sides such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli. However, with teams such as Germany and Spain having World Cup veterans in their squads, this year’s tournament may be nothing more than a learning curve for our youthful squad.