Gareth Southgate’s ruthless approach to England’s Euro 2024 squad shows he’s keen to go out strong

Gareth Southgate recently announced his provisional squad for Euro 2024. This will be Southgate’s last roll of the dice as the Three Lions boss will leave his position after the Euros.

This is the most ruthless the 53-year-old has been in selecting a team ahead of a major tournament, and many familiar faces have been lost before the final squad has been confirmed.

Jordan Henderson should have played his last game for England a long time ago in the eyes of many fans, but Southgate has persisted with him, starting him in tournament matches as recent as the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup.

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Henderson moved to Ajax in January after struggling to adapt to life in Saudi Arabia. Ajax finished fifth in the Eredivisie, which is very disappointing for a club that is the biggest in the Netherlands. Henderson has rightly been dropped from the England squad but it nevertheless came as a surprise after how stubborn Southgate has been in choosing the former Liverpool captain during his tenure.

Marcus Rashford was another surprise omission from the squad but, again, Southgate was right to leave him out to accommodate the players who have been leaps and bounds ahead of the Manchester United man this season. Anthony Gordon has recently broken into the team and it is good to see Southgate choosing in-form players ahead of big names who haven’t looked to the races this season. While it is not like Southgate to rule out experienced players before tournaments, it perhaps shows that there is no time for feelings before his final tournament as England manager.

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Reece James missed due to injury. A fully fit season would undoubtedly have seen the right-back travel to Germany and it is starting to look like his career will be blighted by continued injuries.

Kalvin Phillips, despite being highly rated in the past by Southgate, was expected to be dropped from the final England squad, so he really had no chance of making it. Again it is another one who, despite England’s good performances in the last Euro Cup, has not done enough to deserve a place in a team in which players like Eberechi Eze, Conor Gallagher and Kobbie Mainoo are shown to be better options at this time. .

Gareth Southgate has been the subject of significant criticism from English fans in the past. It’s hard sometimes not to feel like he deserves more credit, as the first man to lead England to a major final since Sir Alf Ramsay in 1966. Southgate’s England team came within a penalty shoot-out of lifting the trophy at the last European Championship. and many ask them to go one step further and emerge victorious on German soil this time. Many fans who previously struggled to trust the Three Lions manager will be encouraged by the positive and bold moves Southgate is already making.

Despite having a good group of players at your disposal, winning an international tournament is very difficult and tends to come down to narrow margins. With France looking strong and Germany playing on their own turf, the competition is tough. If Southgate is able to prove the skeptics wrong and claim silverware at the end of his reign, it would be remembered as one of the greatest successes in the history of English football.

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