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Ward Prowse England Omission Highlights Southgate's Losing of The Plot !
Tuesday, 1st Jun 2021 18:33

When Gareth Southgate took over as England manager he talked about how he would pick his squads based on form and not by what club the player played for, many hoped he would be a breath of fresh air, but this latest squad shows just how much Southgate has lost the plot.

The announcement that James Ward Prowse was not in the England squad was not a shock to anyone in the football world this afternoon, after all it seemed to be common knowledge in the media.

Based on consistent form in the Premier League, James Ward Prowse is up their with the best of them, add solid displays in the last couple of months and there seemed to be no way that Southgate could leave out a player who also has a knack for being the best dead ball specialist in the League.

But this is Gareth Southgate and he has axed Ward Prowse and preferred to put in players who have a lot less proven experience not just in the Premier League but also for England.

But the tactical ineptitude of Southgate and lack of foresight has been exposed before not least in the 2018 World Cup, but also how he has selected his 26 man squad.

Firstly he has picked three goalkeepers, the rules of the tournament allow goalkeepers to be replaced for injury reasons so why pick 3.

Secondly he has picked four right backs, why does he need four for that position ?

Thirdly he has selected two players who are currently injured, Jordan Henderson had not played a single minute in the Premier or Champions League since February 20th until the final day when he was an unused sub for Liverpool.

But at least Henderson seems to be fit enough to be on the bench, unlike Harry Maguire , the Manchester United centre half picked up an ankle injury which meant he missed the last four games of United's Premier League season and then bizarrely was selected on United's bench for the Europa League final despite having a protective boot on his ankle.

If Maguire was a true leader of men and indeed puts his country before himself, then he would have made the decision for Southgate and stepped down from the squad.

But at least with Maguire Southgate has other defenders, if Henderson isn'f fit enough then there are only another 4 midfield players in the squad.

Weirdly there are 8 forwards including players like Raheem Sterling who hasn't had the greatest of seasons and Marcus Rashford .

Im not going to mention the selection of players who disregarded Southgate's discipline and risked the whole squad due to breaking covid 19 restrictions and were barely told off.

So once again Southgate has done what he once promised not to do, pick players on ability and the name on the back of their shirt not the badge on the front.

We will probably have the same result as in 2018, we will beat the lesser sides in the group with the same players showboating and then struggle in the knockout stages when we meet teams whose players actually have some regard for doing the job they are paid to do.

I'm obviously biased and i'm gutted for James Ward Prowse a truly honest and model professional, but in one way I'm glad that he won't be going and thus exposed to the prima donnas in the England squad who will try to turn his head with stories of massive wages and Super Leagues.

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dwayne_dibley added 18:39 - Jun 1
so very true, but the FA would not have it any other way

vanmans added 18:46 - Jun 1
Very true Nick. Iam also gutted for Ings and Prowse they should both be in the team.

dirk_doone added 18:49 - Jun 1
That's because Ward-Prowse is not a right-back. Southgate only really wanted right-backs in his squad. He's picked four of them but he said he'd have preferred to have more.

"Euro 2020: I would have picked more right-backs for England squad - Southgate"



LordDZLucan added 18:54 - Jun 1
Southgate's bizarre squad and team selections and tactics mean I'm not expecting much from England in this tournament. Hopefully we'll go out in the Group stages and then we can get a new manager!

Colburn added 19:20 - Jun 1
It's incredible.. I can only echo your summary Nick. Southgate won a trophy with the U-21 team with JWP as captain.. Toulon tournament? It seems very bizarre to leave him out with so much inexperience in the squad. If Henderson picks up a recurrence and Rice a red card then we're relying on Phillips and a 17 year old to carry us through.
He picks 3 centre backs and 4 right backs, yet leaves the best tackling right back at home in Wan-Bissaka..
Picks Sterling and Rashford who are going backwards but they are the media darlings. He has indeed lost the plot. What a clown...

underweststand added 19:22 - Jun 1
Who amongst us didn't guess that this would happen? Another instance of favouritism to those players from "the big clubs" and leave the real talent back home.
Doesn't anyone at the FA ever consider that Prowsie's achievements have been DESPITE the fact that he doesn't play in one of the "big clubs" and not because of it?

There is a long record of Saints players who were frozen out because they didn't play in Manchester, or on Merseyside. Enough has been written about MLT's treatment at the hands of England managers who rebuked him for not joining one of "their clubs". Glenn Hoddle should have taken someone to France 98 who knew how to take free-kicks and especially penalties.
James Beattie met a similar fate whilst he was leading goalscorer in his time with Saints.

I do not wish England ill - but I still might change my mind and take to cheering for Scotland, but if England lose any games because there is no-one who can take a decent free-kick then Gareth's decision might well come back to bite him.
Not to mention the apparent reliance on the fitness of Jordan Henderson, because I am distinctly unimpressed by the alternatives we are stuck with on the bench.

Tough Luck James - at least we appreciate you .

Saintsforeverj added 19:30 - Jun 1
Excellent article Nick, all very true. Just a fix isn't it. If you don't play for the top 6 richest clubs in England, you don't play for England. But as you say in so many words, it might do us a favour.

dirk_doone added 19:42 - Jun 1
The lockdown has affected Southgate more than most. The fact his squad is so unbalanced reflects his mental state.

WestSussexSaint added 19:53 - Jun 1
I can only assume that Henderson has proved his fitness since joining up with England. The Maguire situation is a concern but it wouldn’t have changed the decision on JWP as Southgate would have selected one of the other centrebacks and has cover in Walker or James who can play on the right in a 3 centre back formation. So fact is as soon as Henderson reported fit JWP was out.

The gutting one is that the big winner from being in the extended squad is Saka who benefited from Greenwood’s withdrawal. Had Ings been selected in the 33 he would now be going to the Euros as I think he dropped down the pecking order as a direct result of Greenwood scoring a few goals late in the season and playing for ManU.

Ultimately England’s loss is Saints gain. The lads can have a proper rest offseason and full preseason.

sidsaint added 20:23 - Jun 1
Sorry for JWP a true professional and think how useful he would have been in training when his corner kicks, free kicks etc would have been useful for organising our defence.

teamster1 added 21:00 - Jun 1
I wouldn’t worry too much it will be a blessing in disguise. Don’t think we will get out of the group stage if I’m honest and then Southgate will step down. Overrated at the last World Cup when we had an easy run to the semi final.
Typical of an England manager which is why we win zilch!!

saintsfanbrock added 21:12 - Jun 1
Hi Nick, he never could have taken two goalkeepers, there is famously a rule requiring managers to name three goalkeepers as part of their squad for the World Cup and the Euro’s. So the rule bend you are indicating never could have happened.

AirFlorida added 22:17 - Jun 1
Wake up. JWP didn't deserve to go. Good start to the season but he was no game winner towards the end of our p!ss poor season. Boo hoo, JWP didn't get picked. Good. Less chance of him getting injured or putting himself in the shop window and getting poached by Spuds. Moaners, grow up and come on England - regardless of which donkeys he's picked.

A1079 added 22:22 - Jun 1
It took me a long time to realise in life, indeed far too late. but there is little reward for honesty, integrity and hard work

Being England manager comes with a large poisoned chalice and I am struggling to think of a time since the 60's when the English faithful last really got behind an England manager or for that matter the players - the so called golden generation who made it nigh on impossible for the manager to manage and created a toxic atmosphere.

But, Southgate seemed to finally offer something different. It seemed that he had got it. We may not have the best squad but I will select players based on merit and form. Hooray, less cow towing to the so called big 6 and the media love in with certain players. Didn't last long did it? 2 tournaments in and he reverts to type. Never mind their form or whether they are injured they have a name, a reputation, play for the rich elite clubs and I will go through hell with the media if I do not pick them. You are largely right Nick. It is not that his selections are bizarre, I am not remotely surprised really, what is disappointing is that he has fell into the same trap.

I do want England to do well and if they do, he will be lauded for his selection but there will be that little bit of me that wants Southgate to regret his decision.

saintmark1976 added 23:00 - Jun 1
Thus it ever was and that’s why we’ve won nothing for nearly half a century. Form players who can turn a game in a moment are left out. Think FatMat, Stan Bowles, Tony Curry, Frank Worthington and Gasgoine to name just a few.

Leaving aside J W P, two of the best strikers in the Premiership in Bamford of Leeds and Watkins of Villa can’t get into the squad. Says it all about Southgate, he was a very average player and I’ve no doubt at all that he will leave the England set up with a reputation as a very average manager at best.

Jesus_02 added 02:55 - Jun 2
Lets be honest here. If the FA cared about international football Southgate wouldn't even be manager. If England let him go what prem team would take him ? Pretty sure he doesn't have 100% call on who is included. And there is still the legacy of the FA statement about players from champions league teams making up the national team. Basically the the England team is made up of the (largely ) second rate English players that the top teams are obliged to have in their squads. Its not just Saints... when as a striker 7 goals gets you into the squad and 17 doesn't you have to be asking questions

Jesus_02 added 03:17 - Jun 2

Sancho - Dortmund - 8 in 26
Saka - Arsenal - 5 in 32
Grealish - Villa - 6 in 26
Foden Man city - 9 in 28
Sterling Man City - 10 in 31
Rashford - Man U - 11 in 37

Ings - Soton - 12 in 29
Bamford - Leeds - 17 - in 38

underweststand added 07:07 - Jun 2
Good stats. jesus_02.
Lots of players "look good" in their roles (midfield or striker) but if you want goals on the scoresheet you need to select players who have goals registered to their name.
There are English midfielders not in this squad who have more goals to their credit that some of those quoted.

Danny Ings and especially Patrick Bamford stand out amongst the list of English strikers this season and although Harry Kane is clearly a first choice selection, a simple injury to him would leave England without any established front man, (and don't let's pretend that the opposition don't know that).
Whilst I accept that the presence of experienced players in the squad is beneficial to the youngsters, Southgate is treading on very thin ice by including Henderson and McGuire without either of them being 100% fit to the detriment of those who are left out.


SaintPaulVW added 09:11 - Jun 2
He has clearly gone down the fixed 'squad' route trying to take the same team from Russia to the Euros and JWP wasn't in that main squad. I think we were lucky in the WC and some of the players in that squad are out of form.

I think it's short sighted not to take a dead ball specialist, particularly as there are 4 right backs being taken. The intention must be that several of those will be played out of position.

There is a long history of England Managers picking injured players. unfortunately it usually ends in failure. I am surprised Southgate hasn't learned that a tournament is no place to get match fit. Plus it's a constant distraction in picking a side and getting them to play well together.

Gutted for JWP, on merit he deserved to go.

halftimeorange added 10:13 - Jun 2
If JWP had been included I am positive that, should he have actually seen game time, he would have to defer to others to do what he's outstandingly good at - the taking of free kicks and corner kicks. Kane will probably take the freekicks in and around the opponent's penalty area when he's the one person in the squad likely to get on the end of them! I have no faith in Southgate whatsoever and it will come as no surprise to me if England flatter to deceive in a tournament yet again.

IanRC added 10:28 - Jun 2
To be honest I think even Kane is over rated, a flat track bully who disappears as soon as he faces quality opposition. Sums up England under the selection of biased and corrupt managers we have been forced to endure. Sure they will exit as soon as they face a decent team although unfortunately the Fa is too fundamentally corrupt to appoint someone who truly picks on merit.

For evidence of their bias has anyone spotted any sanctions applied to the break away teams ? No thought not. If Spurs can’t pay their way they get a government (our money) grant to tide them over and pay Bales wages, we get a points deduction. Whole framework stinks.

highfield49 added 10:43 - Jun 2
Sadly I've got this Roy of the Rovers image of Maguire, still wearing his protective boot of course, coming on as a sub in the last seconds of injury time to save us from defeat against Scotland. He hobbles to the Scotland goal area awaiting the glory of heading the match saving net buster only for Henderson to blaze the set piece kick into row Z. As the final whistle blows the commentator's speech bubble reflects on what would have been if JWP had been on the pitch, whilst Henderson inspects the huge gouge in the turf. The overrated Liverpool star subsequently rants that the sizeable divot that had flown into the Scotland net, instead of the ball, was deliberately dug up by Che Adams before the kick was taken. Cut to JWP watching the tv, feet up at home, with a broad smile on his face. Nah, it's not true of course, Adams had been substituted minutes earlier after scoring the winner.

silverspringsaint added 13:24 - Jun 2
A 17 year old in the squad reminiscent of Ericsson picking Walcott all those years ago.
Bellingham’s time will come, but it was not now. JWP should be there in his place!

Block8 added 22:31 - Jun 2
The main concern for me is that both JWP & Danny may see their only way into England set-up is to move to a bigger club!

NewburySaint added 00:14 - Jun 3
And this is why I stopped following & watching England in ‘98 after the debacle of Hoddle playing Matty in a B team game to assess players only to then not take him to France even after scoring a hat trick and adding 1 assist if I recall correctly, the same treatment of which Matty got through all the 90’s. I would go so far as saying I hate our national team and am always willing them to lose, not that I pay attention to how they do!

At the end of the day an England squad will always be made up with 2/3’s to 3/4’s of players from the so called big six whether they are in form or not and whether they are fit or not.

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