Gareth Southgate has been speaking to the national press in the last few moments after selecting his England squad for the upcoming international break.
As you may know by now, there was no place for Newcastle United duo Callum Wilson or Karl Darlow – however his explanation for leaving out the latter is quite something.
Despite a string of awful errors both this season and last, the England boss has claimed this afternoon that it was not a difficult decision to stick with Jordan Pickford as there has been “nobody playing well enough to push him”. Really, Gareth?!
Here’s what he’s had to say:
“That’s not been a difficult decision for me.
“We have some competition for places, but I’d have to say there’s nobody I think is challenging seriously at the moment to push him (Pickford) out of that position.”
“There is nobody playing well enough to push him.”
Southgate has also had this to say when asked about his decision to leave out Wilson:
“Callum is a player who has worked with us before.
“We didn’t think it was right to leave Tammy Abraham out this time.
“Callum Wilson and Patrick Bamford have done very well for their clubs.”
Abraham is a good player, but he’s scored once in six Premier League appearances this season compared to Wilson’s six in seven – not to mention the fact the Chelsea striker has generally been finding himself on the bench under Frank Lampard this season.
The Darlow comments are what irk me the most, however – even if Wilson was arguably even more deserving of a call-up.
He was obviously an outside bet for the England squad as he’s never been close to a call-up before and generally isn’t our No 1 when Dubravka’s fit, but Southgate’s comments make a mockery of the form he’s been in so far this season and are pretty insulting.
No player has committed more errors leading to an opposition goal since the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season than Jordan Pickford (5), while Karl Darlow has made more saves than any goalkeeper in Europe’s top five leagues so far this season (34!).
To make matters worse, Southgate has also selected Dean Henderson – a goalkeeper who’s yet to play a minute of Premier League football this season.