Are we ready for the return of international football?
The futility of Kieran Trippier’s glorious free-kick against Croatia still weighs heavy in our hearts and here the schedule demands that England take to the pitch as the Nations League gets underway.
The Three Lions play Spain at Wembley on Saturday September 8th before hosting Switzerland at the King Power on Tuesday 11th in a friendly.
Gareth Southgate has continued to show faith in youth by recalling Joe Gomez and Luke Shaw to the squad.
Here’s the squad in full:
Naturally, many of the World Cup favourites have retained their place in the squad.
However, there is a sense this is the next step of Southgate’s grand plan, with a view to the future.
Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill retired from international football earlier this week and Ashley Young has made way for club team-mate Shaw.
Many fans will be disappointed to see Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden miss out on this occasion.
The Borussia Dortmund and Man City wonderkids have been standout performers at youth level in recent times and there were murmurs Southgate may have blooded the youngsters in this squad.
Sancho has impressed since his move to the Bundesliga and has provided six assists in his 13 games for the club.
Foden has had to patient at Man City, what with the considerably resources at Pep Guardiola’s disposal.
The champions’ coach thinks very highly of the 18-year-old’s technical ability.
Both would be exciting options off the bench, although you can understand Southgate sticking with as many of the World Cup players as possible.
The in-form James Maddison has also missed out on a place this time but it is surely only a matter of time before Leicester’s No10 is given a chance at international level.
England performed above expectations in Russia but they lacked creativity in midfield.
Maddison’s playmaking ability is his greatest asset — the Foxes’ summer signing is notably ambitious in possession.
Shaw has been one of few impressive performers for Man United so far this season.
The 23-year-old was desperately out of favour at Old Trafford for much of last term but his efforts this campaign have been reminiscent of his Southampton days.
The former Saints left-back went to the 2014 World Cup with England but hasn’t featured at international level since 2017.
Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy and Adam Lallana are the other notable inclusions.
In Gareth, we trust.
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