Five things we learned from the England World Cup squad announcement

17 May, 2018, 03:08 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Reports suggest Joe Hart will miss out on the World Cup

LIVERPOOL right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in England's 23-man squad for the World Cup, the Football Association has announced.

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope has been preferred ahead of Joe Hart with the 26-year-old selected alongside Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

Based on the players' age on the first match-day of the tournament, England have named their third youngest World Cup squad behind the 2006 and 1958 editions.

"If I was Gareth Southgate I would sell this on youngsters", he said at the BBC's launch of their coverage of the tournament.

The use of a three-man defence and buccaneering wing-backs has become prevalent in the Premier League but Southgate's use of forward players in recent friendlies has been interesting.

Gareth Southgate has named his England squad for the World Cup - but what should the starting XI be?

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand is a huge advocate of taking Alexander-Arnold.

Without any of them, England's squad does look short of a player capable of unpicking a sturdy lock but perhaps Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be the man entrusted to provide some creativity.

Joe Hart is beaten by Gareth Bale's free-kick at Euro 2016
Hart was beaten by Gareth Bale’s free-kick at Euro 2016

"Ryan and Joe have played a lot over the last two years so they're not decisions we took lightly", said Southgate.

Pope has yet to win his first England cap, but this is a shrewd selection, not only with an eye to the future but also based on form this season.

"We're trying to change the style of play - we have our young players developing with better technical ability with the ball".

With the country's youngsters winning the Under-17 World Cup and Under-19 Euros a year ago, there appears to be no shortage of talent coming through and Southgate, the former Under-21 coach, will not be afraid to use it.

The main star of the England team is the striker Tottenham Harry Kane, who scored 30 goals in last season's Premier League.

Henderson, meanwhile, has developed into a top-class captain at Liverpool as they have reached the Champions League final. "We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum".

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is Southgate's biggest gamble but the Chelsea midfielder, who spent the season on loan at Crystal Palace, was outstanding against Germany and Brazil last November and so has earned the chance to impress in Russian Federation.

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