England’s World Cup squad: player, press and fan reaction
Gareth Southgate’s side will play Tunisia, Panama and Belgium in Group G in Russia
Gareth Southgate’s 23-man England squad for the 2018 Fifa World Cup was announced today with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek selected for a seat on the plane to Russia.
While Southgate did not make any “wildcard” picks for the finals, he has opted for experienced players such as Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck to compliment his younger stars.
Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Manchester City’s Fabian Delph - who can both play a number of positions in defence and midfield - also get the call.
We look at how the players reacted to the announcement and what the football media and England fans think of Southgate’s 23-man squad.
How the press reacted to Southgate’s squad
The Sun’s Duncan Wright says Southgate “goes for broke” in Russia: “Southgate has ignored the claims of more experienced players, with Liverpool star [Adam] Lallana the biggest name to miss out, and pinned his hopes on a novice group he hopes to lead the country to glory in Russia.”
Former England defender Sol Campbell tells Sky Sports News that Fabian Delph deserves his call-up: “He’s been in a top, top side at Manchester City, with Pep [Guardiola] and the whole thing that comes with it. If you’re training against those kind of players week in, week out you can only benefit. It elevates your skill factor. When you get to a big tournament you’re not going to be surprised. He’s done well, getting tackles, he’s very mobile, gets around and he’s been in high pressure scenarios in the Champions League.”
The Daily Mail’s Glenn Williams focuses on England’s inexperienced squad: “Gareth Southgate has named England’s least-experienced 23-man World Cup squad since 1962, with the group averaging just 19 caps per player. It is certainly a nod to the new era, with Southgate including just five players - Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones and Gary Cahill - who played in the last World Cup in 2014. Nobody in the squad has won a World Cup match.”
Newcastle Chronicle’s Sean McCormick says Newcastle fans are not happy with Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles missing out: “It is a disappointing blow for both players after enjoying excellent seasons at club level and their omission from the squad hasn’t gone down well with Newcastle fans.”
Football.London’s Tashan Deniran-Alleyne reports on Gary Cahill’s inclusion: “Despite not performing at his very best over the course of the season, it would appear that his experience at major international tournaments has worked in his favour as he’s one of four central defenders in the squad alongside John Stones, Phil Jones and Harry Maguire.”
Writing for the Daily Mirror, Jack Rathborn says Southgate had some “controversial decisions” to make: “Southgate made a number of tough calls this week and notified experienced duo Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere, who have 109 caps between them, that they had missed out.”
England players: how they reacted
A dream comes true for Ashley Young.
“It’s an honour,” says Dele Alli.
Marcus Rashford has some big news: “Mum we’re off to the World Cup!”
Jamie Vardy “can’t wait to get going”.
“We will give it our all,” says Kieran Trippier.
Trent, you’re off to the World Cup...
Harry Maguire’s sister is proud of her brother today.
England fan reaction
While the England stars celebrate their call-up for the World Cup in Russia, some fans were not happy with some of the players left out of the squad. Many believe Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey should have been on the plane while others were not as excited as Southgate is…
Alexander-Arnold must be “gutted”...
Not a Danny Welbeck fan then?
“Cry into my pint.”
No golden generation?
“Fair play to Gareth Southgate.”