Embarrassing as Gareth Southgate tries to justify leaving out Jonjo Shelvey
Gareth Southgate oversaw the latest borefest on Friday night.
England drawing 0-0 with Germany in yet another game where you struggled to retain the will to win when watching it.
As usual, you had all those with a vested interest talking up the performance, but it was just the usual tame and negative display.
Not only were Jake Livermore and Jack Cork named in the squad but they actually got on the pitch.
Exactly what this pair would have to offer England in any tournament finals is anybody’s guess.
The West Brom midfielder played 86 minutes before Burnley’s Cork replaced him.
Yes this was Germany but you get the feeling that they just go through the motions in friendlies and could step it up at any time, such as games that matter in finals.
Whereas England give it 100% in these kickabouts but with same negative game plan (only one attempt on target last night), just occasionally with different named average players filling a shirt instead.
I’m not saying Jonjo Shelvey is a world great but when you only have a few England friendlies between now and the end of the season and selecting the squad for Russia, surely it would be more productive to at least give somebody a chance who can offer something different…and more dangerous.
Gareth Southgate lost six of his original squad but called up only three to replace them, preferring to leave empty spaces rather than calling up Jonjo Shelvey.
The non-selection is surely a political and not football based decision, with England choosing to not pick Shelvey due to his misdemeanours.
Quite amazing when you consider how they kept choosing repugnant characters such as John Terry, despite his catalogue of offences that brought the national team into disrepute.
When asked about Jonjo Shelvey’s omission, Gareth Southgate made the mistake of trying to justify it.
Claiming ‘Jonjo Shelvey is a different type of player’ than what he was looking for when it came to these friendlies against Germany and Brazil.
Obviously he doesn’t fit in with the England demands of not passing the ball further than 10 yards, usually backwards or sideways.
So exactly which games would be suitable for the Newcastle midfielder?
We can all now look forward to a tournament finals where England might just struggle out of their group because they are handed a kind draw, struggling to create chances and score goals, then instantly get knocked out once they play anybody half decent.
“I think Jonjo Shelvey is a different type of player.
“He plays deeper, plays almost in the quarterback position for his club.
“We were needing something a little bit different for these games.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]