Some England fans have expressed sheer fury after seeing the starting lineup that Gareth Southgate has named for the Three Lions ahead of their Euro 2020 (2021) opener against Croatia this afternoon.
The 11 players to feature from the get-go are exactly those that were leaked to start by David Ornstein and the Athletic this morning, which is bound to ruffle feathers of those in the England camp and fans.
Jordan Pickford starting between the sticks is not a surprise at all but the rest of the defensive line has sparked fierce reaction from supporters and resembles a very ballsy call from Southgate.
Kyle Walker starts at right-back ahead of Reece James, whilst John Stones and Tyrone Mings feature in the heart of defence whilst Harry Maguire remains sidelined, then comes the shock decision…
Kieran Trippier starts at left-back with Luke Shaw, widely recognised as the Premier League’s best in his position this season, sits on the bench and Chelsea star Ben Chilwell hasn’t even made the squad.
Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Mason Mount start in what appears to be a midfield three with Manchester City attackers Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling on either flank as Harry Kane leads the line.
Team news is in!
— England (@England) June 13, 2021
Here is how some of the England faithful have reacted to Southgate’s teamsheet:
Shaw? Chilwell? Grealish? Trippier at LB? Southgate has lost the plot. All that talent at his disposal and he STILL insists playing an out of form Sterling and players out of position. Teams should be scared of playing us, instead it’s wasted on a manager too scared of losing.
— Jake ? (@Jake_AVFC_) June 13, 2021
Someone please explain to me why he couldn’t play shaw or chillwell at left back and we have to play a right back there?
— ky (@kyle78317824) June 13, 2021
It’s not coming home.
— Bhavs (@bhavss14) June 13, 2021
What in the Southgate is this?
— Emily Hewertson (@emilyhewertson) June 13, 2021
Sancho and Chilwell not even in the squad. Southgate is a criminal. https://t.co/SQcLPhKhan
— Alfredo Di Dio ?????? (@Alfredo_DiDio) June 13, 2021
Why’s Sancho not even on the bench?
— Jack (@UtdJackkkk) June 13, 2021
If the Chilwell snub wasn’t controversial enough, Borussia Dortmund whizz-kid Jadon Sancho also hasn’t earned a spot in the matchday squad, in decisions from Southgate branded as ‘criminal’ by many fans.
Southgate has really invited immense pressure and potential fierce criticism for some very shocking lineup calls, but it would be a surprise masterclass from the ex-defender if it works out.
Of course, even if it’s successful the longevity of some of today’s decisions could spark further questioning of the squad selected.
For example, if Trippier performs well and rightfully earns the opportunity to continue at left-back, Shaw and Chilwell – two of the Premier League’s best – will have been called-up just to be backups.