The 23-man squad that Gareth Southgate selected for the World Cup was surrounded more by silence than celebrations. Many of the fans were underwhelmed with the selection and while the squad choice has not had an impact on the World Cup betting 2018, where England remain seventh favourites to win, with odds of 16/1, it has still put major doubts in the fans’ minds.
The decision to take three right backs was a peculiar one and although people have defended the decision by stating that Kyle Walker is likely to play as the right centre back in a back three, when there have been some exemplary centre-backs in the Premier League this season such as James Tarkowski, Alfie Mawson and Jamaal Lascelles, it does beg the question as to why three right backs are needed.
There appears to be more versatility amongst the squad for the upcoming tournament, which could be argued is a good thing. Ashley Young has been included as one of the left backs for the tournament, despite there being options readily available to Southgate who have spent their entire career as a left back. Fabian Delph has been taken as a midfielder, despite playing this season as a makeshift left back for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, which makes the squad even more bemusing.
England have suffered from embarrassment in the past and will be hopeful that Southgate’s squad choices don’t come back to harm the team’s chances this summer. Here is an infographic which looks at the most embarrassing players to have played for England at the World Cup as well as the most embarrassing moments.