The latest England Squad promoted much debate.

Basically the last chance saloon for the World Cup, any players (excluding injured etc) not included in this 27 man squad for the Holland and Italy friendlies, surely having no chance whatsoever of getting on the plane in June to Russia.

Two names missing were Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles.

Plenty of Newcastle fans appeared to be vocal in criticising Gareth Southgate’s decision but always hard to gauge exactly what the overall reaction of NUFC supporters was, as those who thought one or both players weren’t deserving of a place, aren’t going to be as animated in wanting to tell everybody.

So we put a poll up (see below), asking Newcastle fans whether Shelvey and/or Lascelles should have been in that 27 man squad, as well as posing the question of whether they deserve to be in the 23 man squad for the finals.

The question was ‘What should Gareth Southgate have done with England Squad?’ and we gave the following six options to cover all angles, with the more simplified results below them:

26% Choose Lascelles but not Shelvey for 27 man squad AND 23 man finals squad

22% Choose Lascelles and Shelvey for 27 man squad BUT only Lascelles for 23 man finals squad

19% Leave out Shelvey and Lascelles from 27 man squad AND 23 man finals squad

15% Choose Lascelles and Shelvey for 27 man squad BUT only Shelvey for 23 man finals squad

12% Choose Lascelles and Shelvey for 27 man squad BUT neither for 23 man finals squad

6% Choose Shelvey but not Lascelles for 27 man squad AND 23 man finals squad

Taking those answers overall, this is what it came out at for each player:

Jamaal Lascelles:

27 man England Squad for March friendlies: Yes 75% No 25%

23 man England Squad for finals in Russia: Yes 48% No 52%

Jonjo Shelvey:

27 man England Squad for March friendlies: Yes 55% No 45%

23 man England Squad for finals in Russia: Yes 21% No 79%

I think these were pretty good results and very much reflect my thinking overall.

I think Lascelles was a very very strong contender for this friendlies squad and then considering there are no outstanding English centre-backs, he should have had a toss of the coin chance of getting on the plane to Russia, if he then impressed and played well for Newcastle these next two months.

As for Jonjo Shelvey, we all know he has the ability and if he had played all season like he has done against Man Utd and Southampton in the last two home games, then his case would be compelling. However, he has been poor to average most of the season and even struggled to get into Newcastle’s side at times, particularly when Merino was fully fit.

In recent games his workrate has been on another level to what has gone before, particularly in his defensive work, so I think that marginally he did deserve a chance in this 27 man England Squad for the friendlies, particularly because he has got that passing ability that could unlock a tight game.

However, the 21% support to be in the squad for Russia is about right, an outside bet who could have swayed those odds possibly in these next two months.

The Mag – Friday 16 March 2018:

On Thursday afternoon, the latest England squad was announced.

Gareth Southgate naming a 27 man squad to face Italy and Holland in friendlies.

If you weren’t included in this squad, then unless there were injury/fitness issues, then you surely stand no chance of getting in the final England squad that will travel to Russia in the summer.

Southgate gave some strange justification for his selection process (see below), with Newcastle fans disappointed that neither Jonjo Shelvey or Jamaal Lascelles were chosen.

Remember, this was a 27 man England squad and the final one will be only 23 that goes in June, plus Southgate named another four players he would have chosen if they hadn’t had fitness issues at the minute.

So do you think one or both of the Newcastle players should have been selected for this 27 man England squad for the March friendlies?

Also, do you think that one or both of them should make the final cut for the 23 man finals squad.

Vote now below please and select the option that most closely matches your opinion (We haven’t included option(s) to say the Newcastle players should have been picked for the 23 man finals squad but not the 27 man squad as that wouldn’t make sense).

The Mag – Earlier Today (Friday 16 March):

Gareth Southgate named his latest England squad on Thursday afternoon.

With friendlies against Holland and Italy this month, Southgate named 27 players.

Ahead of the squad being revealed, there had been a lot of speculation, particularly amongst Newcastle fans, as to whether Jamaal Lascelles and/or Jonjo Shelvey would be included.

They weren’t.

Gareth Southgate instead named the following:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (West Ham), Jack Butland (Stoke), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley)

Defenders: Kyle Walker, John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Alfie Mawson (Swansea)

Midfielders: Eric Dier, Dele Alli (both Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (all Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal), Jake Livermore (West Brom)

Forwards: Jamie Vardy (Leicester), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

After the 27 man squad was announced, Gareth Southgate attempted to explain/justify his selections.

Some of his reasoning makes about as much sense as the decision by the FA to appoint him in the first place, his only previous experience of management being to relegate Middlesbrough from the Premier League.

Gareth Southgate:

“My preference is always that you have clarity for the players, in terms of you need to be playing regularly, you need to be in good form.”


Danny Welbeck has only started two Premier League matches in the last five months.

As for Jake Livermore…like his team, he has been really poor and has scored no Premier League goals and has only one assist all season. The only form he has shown is nicking the taxi in Spain with his three West Brom team-mates.

Southgate goes on to say…

“It’s obvious to everybody we have a very small number of English-qualified players in the Premier League.

“On top of that a lot of our better players have missed time with injury or through selection have missed matches.

“There are a few players that are not in this squad that are not out of our mind.

“There are clearly some inclusions of players that are playing well for their club and who are getting their first call-up.

“There are some in particular that if they were playing at the moment they would have been in – Fabian Delph, Phil Jones and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

“They are all close to fitness but have not played in matches and are in the early stages of their recovery. Plus Harry Kane, they are four that would be in our thinking.”

The England manager has named four uncapped players – Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Nick Pope, Swansea defender Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth midfielder Lewis Cook.

I think you have to say that the chances of Lascelles and/or Shelvey going to Russia are about  on the same level as seeing Sunderland back in the Premier League any time soon.

Gareth Southgate can only name 23 in his World Cup squad, so when you think he picked a 27 man squad yesterday AND said Kane, Delph, Jones and Loftus-Cheek would all have been included if they were fully fit.

That makes 31 players who are already definitely ahead of the Newcastle pair in his thinking…

  • Mrkgw

    Fed up with the same stale old England set up. Things never change, no entertainment, no flair, excitment. Our pair are best away from it as they would otherwise be stiffled by tactical overkill.

    • kingfisher

      “Things never change, no entertainment, no flair, no excitement.”
      Any Newcastle player should feel at home in the England set up, as this statement sums up nufc perfectly!

      • Mrkgw

        On reflection, hard to argue with that I suppose.

  • Paul Patterson

    Too many options for the poll I’m afraid. It’s stupid that both weren’t included in this squad just to be involved in the set up. That’s pig headed, short-sightedness from the manager.
    But hey, it’s good for us.

  • Arty Hume

    Not interested in the England teams now, nor have been for a few years. Its the old North South divide syndrome for me, to London/Manchester biased, the last few managers have been part of the old boy network, just like the Prem ones, its just moving the rubbish from one place to the next, never getting rid of it or changing it. That is the problem with our game now and its getting worse there are powerful influences at work and its not for the benefit of the supporters, its to do with what they want us to see, a bit like politics really, they only tell us want they want us to know.
    With no game for us for another two weeks I am not looking forward to the rubbish which is going to be put forward as stories from all and sundry, its called journalistic licence or rubbish to you and me.

    • X,WHY,Y MAN.

      Spot on !, I call them “London Utd” because basically that is all they are when you look at it.
      I would love to see a team from our true kingdom of Northumbria take to the international stage.

  • kingfisher

    Some media outlets are saying that England should boycott The World Cup in Russia this year because of the Novichok nerve agent attack recently. We expel their diplomats and they expel ours, and Sky is reporting that Russia have stated that ” this may not be the end of the matter, adding that they reserve the right to take other measures against hostile steps from London.”

    It smacks of double standards if we do go to Russia, how on earth can Britain, on one hand, take political steps against a country who has committed a nerve agent attack on British soil, ( and let’s not forget seriously injured a British policeman), then on the other hand, travel to that country for a football competition,it beggars belief!

    • paul mclaughlan

      Innocent until proven guilty. I’m not trying to defend Russia whatsoever. But why have we not sent a sample of the nerve agent as requested? And the bumbling idiot Boris Johnson should stop throwing accusations around as if they’re facts.

      • Peaco

        I suspect we have more important things to do than dance to putin’s tune. Look at the contempt that he showed to the investigation when his lot blew an airliner out of the sky killing hundreds including 2 of ours. Howay, wise up man.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Aye true man. Although I wouldn’t complain if someone slipped Boris J some nerve agent.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            It wouldserve the nation better to do that to Corbyn and his momentum mob.

      • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

        Because he knows they are facts, Russia knows they are facts and the international community knows they are facts.

        • paul mclaughlan

          Johnson claims he’s had evidence that the Russians have been stockpiling the nerve agent the last decade. In that case he needs jailed for sitting on this information. The bloke is a complete clown and should have his own comedy show instead of sitting in a position of power in the government.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            The structure of the nerve agent is well understood, the word stockpiling is incorrect as far as I understand but it needed strong words because a line had been crossed. Boris may come over as a clown but he knows what he’s saying here and he’s said it for good reason.

            Corbyn was on very dangerous ground at the weekend, he’s backtracked but he has showed why people worry about him in any level of authority. A fun 1960’s student communist idealogue throwback he may be but what he’s saying is far more dangerous than what Boris is saying.

          • paul mclaughlan

            He also said Putin directly ordered the assassination of the former Russian spy. Boris is a first class bumbling idiot. And had a lot more affluent upbringing (I know you put a lot of importance in our MPs childhoods) than Corbyn.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Stockpiling is a strange word to use, a trace of the stuff can kill, it’s not as if they need some huge silo full of the stuff. Is there evidence that Russia has stock of the stuff? I don’t doubt that for a minute.

            The report I read had Boris saying it was “highly likely” Putin directly ordered the assassination. I think there are two options, either he’s right or Putin is not actually in control of events in Russia any more but rather is something of a pawn in the hands of a bunch of criminals who actually control the Kremlin.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Well the stupid fat buffoon definitely said “stockpiling”. 100% proof is needed. After all the nerve agent could infact of been developed at that home office chemical facilities close to Salisbury. Who know what goes on with those stupid schoolboys playing spies and putting the rest of us at risk. They make me sick with their little war games. Ar5eholes the lot of them.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Oh come off it, you are trying to make a political point where the real scumbag here is Corbyn. The whole world knows who is responsible, Corbyn knows who is responsible but people who are blindly hanging onto his weasel words suggesting there is doubt. On what was is would the UK authorities want rid of this fella in such a dangerous way. The British was is a car accident or apparant suicide, not a 007 style poison.

          • paul mclaughlan

            Isn’t the British way innocent until proven guilty? The world is in such a state when fat idiots get power. It’s even scarier fools like you hang on every word the proven liar Johnson spouts.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I’m not hanging in the word if Boris, just tend to believe the word of scientists around the world including the Russian bloke who was involved in the development.

            This is not an issue to hang some student activists’ naive ideology onto.

          • paul mclaughlan

            I’m pretty certain the Russians are guilty. But will wait for 100% proof of guilt before condemnation. Something BJ should do. Supposed to be a world statesman but comes across as an absolute moron. Fingers crossed the truth comes out. And fingers crossed Boris has not spoke out of term and turned us into a laughingstock.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            Sorry to break it to you, Paul, but WE never will – we’re just the chatterboxes without the required security clearance !!

            100% proof isn’t going to be disclosed, what we have is balance of probability stuff but there is already a fair bit of it around, even in the public domain.

            Boris spoke for domestic consumption, in fairness, France and Germany were quicker and stronger than Boris on it. Boris to me is like Mauriniho, he says some apparently off the cuff stuff but there always seems to be a reason for saying it.

          • paul mclaughlan

            So will never be 100% certain of guilt. Would be thrown out of court because of a lack of evidence. I’ve never said or implied I don’t believe Russia are guilty. Just our (ahem) statesmen should tread carefully. I mean Russia can harm us more than us them.

          • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

            I do worry about picking a fight with someone who will play to different rules. Our options are really limited to withdrawing from the World Cup, i know we’ve taken Wales, Norn Ireland and Scotland out but we may have to withdraw England (injuries permitting).

            I think we do have to at least say what Boris is saying, we have been very weak in the past with both TSpm and Cameron just hoping it was all a one off, now they have gone too far but what to do?

    • Mxpx

      With our crooked media I think I’ll wait for evidence before I blame Russia for terrorism in the UK however boycotting the tournaments in Russia and Qatar is a very good idea in terms of corruption within fifa but it needs to be done across the board not just England but France Italy Spain Germany Argentina and Brasil you remove those countries and you haven’t got a world Cup this being said its easy for us to say that with possibly the worst squad we’ve ever sent to a tournament

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Let’s see if Kane is injured before boycotting on a point of principal.

  • Phil Yare

    i don’t think toon fans should have any affiliation with the england team. for me its always been cockney FC. you’ve only got to look at the ex newcastle players that were never considered for the national team. when we finished 3rd first season up the whole team was english apart from pav but nobody was considered including andy cole who scored 41 goals. pedro was probably one of the best players on the planet and was overlooked time and time again. after nearly winning the premiership title not one player made the euro 96 team (no sir les, no rob lee!)
    If it wasn’t for Shearer we would have no connection and when they get beat i quite enjoy it