Gareth Southgate announced his squad for the World Cup in Qatar and with the hopes of a nation on their shoulders, can they finally bring it home?
Though we could talk all day about the implications on hosting the tournament there and the myriad of geopolitical issues between the West and the East, I believe it’s important that we get behind our nation regardless and support the World Cup at least from a footballing standpoint.
Southgate has come under heavy scrutiny after England’s torrid Nations League campaign, where the Three Lions failed to win a single game and suffered embarrassing defeats to Hungary and Italy. Calls to include James Maddison in the squad have paid off, as the Leicester midfielder was called up to the World Cup squad for his first senior international tournament.
England 2022 World Cup Squad
- Goalkeepers - Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale
- Defenders - Conor Coady, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Eric Dier, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Ben White
- Midfielders - Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Jordan Henderson
- Forwards - Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, James Maddison, Callum Wilson
Newcastle United’s Nick Pope and Callum Wilson are two other notable admissions, as is Luke Shaw. The Manchester United defender may have scored in the Euros final, but his poor form since then has led many to question his inclusion.
The most controversial inclusion, however, is Man United’s Harry Maguire. The 29-year-old has had a woeful time at Old Trafford over the last year, and his performances have gotten so unpredictable that he’s barely featured under Erik ten Hag this season.
Jordan Henderson has had a difficult time this season, too, but one could easily argue that his leadership skills and professionalism are attributes that Southgate simply couldn’t leave out. The Liverpool captain is the only Premier League winning skipper in the entire squad, and his experience in big games will hopefully rub off on the others.
Harry Kane, Phil Foden, and Bukayo Saka have all earned their place in the squad, as have Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White. Sterling has had a mixed reception at Chelsea, but his solid performances for the Three Lions are very well documented.
A Queenless Nation
I have no doubt that England will win the World Cup regardless of which XI they put out, so seeing Dier and Maguire in the squad doesn’t worry me too much. The Three Lions will be inspired by a nation that has lost its Queen, and her spirit will surely guide her subjects to victory.
Southgate must turn this pain into triumph if he plans on winning the competition with ease. Though they’ll be other quality sides in Qatar, I believe the suffering experienced by the great nation of England will propel them to almighty success and, at long last, bring football back to where it belongs.
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