England boss Gareth Southgate claims that players need to be ‘playing regularly’ and ‘in good form’ to be called up to his squad – a comment that makes absolutely no sense based on some of the players he’s called up in place of Lascelles and Shelvey yesterday.
As we know, NUFC duo Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey missed out and, not only are some of the alternatives he’s selected pretty uninspiring choices, his justification for picking some of them makes no sense.
He admits here that players must be playing ‘regularly’ and be in ‘good form’ to earn a call-up, yet the likes of Joe Hart, Joe Gomez, Jake Livermore and Danny Welbeck are severely lacking in either one or both of those departments:
“My preference is always that you have clarity for the players, in terms of you need to be playing regularly, you need to be in good form.”
Jamaal Lascelles perfectly describes the criteria mentioned above, yet he’s handed a call up Joe Gomez – an option at centre-back and played in the league for Liverpool since January.
Then to Shelvey. He’s not always been consistent this season, so that does dent his cause, however he’s been in good form and playing regularly of late. Jake Livermore has been given a shot ahead of him though – a player whose started just 3 of West Brom’s 9 league games since the turn of the year.
Not only that, he’s been part of a team performing awfully and was involved in ‘taxi-gate’ in Spain just a few weeks ago.
Jake Livermore. Been banned for substance abuse in the past, whatever his reasons were he still did it. Playing in a team rock bottom of the Prem, not even standing out for them, stole a taxi whilst away with WBA. England material ahead of Shelvey apparently.
— Skeems (@Skeems1) March 15, 2018
Some really baffling decisions from Southgate – a man I never had faith in doing the right thing when it comes to England, whether that benefits NUFC players or not:
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)
Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)
Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)
Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)