Gareth Southgate, the English coach has warned his players that nobody should feel safe about his position after a day of extensive changes that saw him axe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from his latest squad and potentially ending the international careers of Germain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge and also announcing that Chris Smalling was because the Manchester United player was not good enough on the ball.
Southgate dropped a total of 7 players after his comments at the previous England get-together, that there were people in his squad who had not necessarily justified their inclusions and were lucky to be involved.
The reason for axing Chamberlain was his erratic form according to the English manager.
“I don’t remember the last time Daniel has 90 minutes” – said Southgate
But the “toughest call”, according to the England manager, was to drop Smalling bearing in mind the reasons for leaving out a player who, until now, has been a regular whenever he has been fit.
“We want to play a certain way,” Southgate said. “We want to see the players we’ve brought in using the ball from the back and building up in a certain way. I have huge respect for Chris and he’s obviously at a big club. I think he can [play that way]. But we have players like John Stones, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire who are even better.”
Joe Gomez(Liverpool), Tammy Abraham(Swansea City), Ruben Loftus-Cheek(Crystal Palace) are the ones called to fill the void created after the sacking of players like Smalling.
England now have 13 players aged 24 or below, even after the recent exclusion of Ashley Young. And ironically, at 32, Young is the oldest player in the squad.
England play Germany at Wembley next Friday, followed by Brazil’s visit four days later, but the bad news for the players who have been left out is that they then have four months to wait until the next international break.
Tammy Abraham (Swansea City, loan from Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Joe Hart (West Ham United, loan from Manchester City), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), Ashley Young (Manchester United)