Gareth Southgate is one big contradiction

Like his squad, Gareth Southgate is full of contradictions….

Southgate is clearly not good enough to be England manager – he has been handed the keys of the estate simply by virtue of being a yes man and being in the right place at the right time.

The old adage of “who you know, not what you know” is never more fitting when it comes to Southgate and his relationship with those in power at the FA.

Let’s assess his squad for the World Cup, and what he is going to do with it….

Firstly, his inclusion of Trent Alexander-Arnold – hard to disagree, in form and will play in the Champions League final, but then why include Kieran Trippier if you already have Kyle Walker? Well because the genius that is Southgate intends to play the Manchester City man on the right side of the central three…but why? Walker is as good as anything in world football at the moment at right-back/right wing-back, why play him out of position? As we have seen countless times with England, square pegs in round holes does not work!

Southgate loves a trend, this is proved by his insistence on playing a back-three – he started doing it when Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino did, but again why? Do the England players like playing it? Probably not as most are not used to it and we genuinely don’t need to but even if we do, surely the first prerequisite of playing a back three is having three quality centre-halves, which England don’t.

Then let’s look at the major omissions – Jack Wilshere, Adam Lallana and Jonjo Shelvey have all missed out – players with creativity coming out of their pores, yet Southgate has brought in Fabian Delph, a talented utility player who spent the season at left-back when he did play for Man City, but he has confirmed he will be used as midfielder in Russia – how can he justify such a selection?

He openly admitted some players did not hit the standards to make it to Russia (Wilshere et al) – then he selects Gary Cahill and Danny Welbeck – who have been done little to warrant their places, hence their lack of action at club level.

He leaves out Ryan Bertrand, who did very little wrong during the season and has never let England down, but he prefers to go for Ashley Young, is Young a better left-back than Bertrand? Of course he isn’t – but Southgate loves to mix it up.

Southgate thinks he is a Pochettino or a Pep Guardiola, but he isn’t, he isn’t even a Sam Allardyce – he should be sticking to the basics – he goes on about youth and blend when he doesn’t need to, he isn’t Under-21 manager anymore.

He should be picking the best 23 to get us furthest in Russia, it is now about Qatar in four-years or even the European Championship in two years this is about the World Cup in 2018.

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