Time to cancel our subscription to Sky Sports.
Here we were, enjoying our Friday, trying to figure out when is an acceptable time to head down the pub, when all of a sudden it happened.
Our eyes were assaulted by Jamie Carragher’s preferred England starting XI for the World Cup.
Not because his selections were particularly offensive (although we do have some questions) but because of the graphic Sky Sports produced to illustrate the team.
Just look at the state of the squad numbers here…
Imagine Danny Rose wearing No10 for England at a World Cup — it’s insanity.
John Stones and Gary Cahill as No2 and No3, Kyle Walker No5… it’s a good job dry January is over.
The worst part about it is they were clearly just ascending from left to right but then decided to give Harry Kane No9 because he’s a centre-forward.
Why apply convention to one player and not the other?
As you can probably tell, we are needlessly and irrationally annoyed by this but for the benefit of all the other traditionalists out there, here’s how Carra’s eleven should have been numbered…
No1 Pickford, No2 Walker, No3 Rose, No4 Stones, No5 Cahill, No6 Maguire, No7 Wilshere, No8 Henderson, No9 Kane, No10 Alli, No11 Sterling
Anyway, let’s move onto the probably much more important discussion of Carragher’s team.
Providing Jack Wilshere stays fit and continues his impressive form, we only really have an issue with two of the players included.
Gary Cahill is not the defender he once was and the Chelsea captain has been responsible for some glaring personal errors this season.
And with Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz also available to Antonio Conte, the 32-year-old Englishman isn’t even guaranteed a place in Chelsea’s starting line-up anymore.
We reckon Phil Jones or the uncapped Alfie Mawson would be a better option for Gareth Southgate.
Then there’s Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool midfielder plays backward passes when he should be launching attacks and then over complicates proceedings when his side would benefit from keeping it simple.
He has his attributes but he’s not a particularly inspiring figure and we don’t see him as a key capable of unlocking deep blocks.
In terms of a replacement, take your pick from Eric Dier, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Harry Winks, Jesse Lingard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
We can’t stress enough however, how vital it is to get the squad numbers right.
As long as everyone is wearing an appropriate number we’ll happily watch our boys grind out a 1-0 win against Panama this summer.
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