Alan Shearer has reacted to the England squad announced by Gareth Southgate on Wednesday.
The England boss revealing his 23 players (see below) who will be on the plane to Russia, barring injury etc.
If there are any injuries that prevent players taking up the opportunity, Southgate also named five standby players – Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana.
One name that was missing and became the focus of national debate, not just a ‘local’ one, is Jonjo Shelvey.
The Newcastle midfielder much talked about but missing from the list.
Whilst he had garnered a lot of public support, just like Jamaal Lascelles, Shelvey hadn’t been called up for a single previous Southgate squad. Those squads including one only two months ago when Jonjo Shelvey wasn’t included even though 27 players were brought together, whilst in November there were numerous withdrawals from a Southgate England squad and the manager chose to bring in all kinds of alternatives, whilst still ignoring Shelvey.
Asked about Wednesday’s squad announcement, Alan Shearer says that he would have picked Shelvey ‘just to add something a little different’, which I think was the consensus amongst many neutrals also, as well as Newcastle fans.
However, Shearer says that the squad was ‘pretty much as expected’, which very much sums it up – the public might have chosen a few different players but Gareth Southgate had made clear with his previous squads just who he was going to pick.
Alan Shearer speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live:
“If it was me picking the squad, I perhaps would have had Shelvey, just to add something a little different.
“He would bring a calmness on the ball.
“He would be someone whose first thought would be a forward pass.
“But I think it’s pretty much as expected.”
Gareth Southgate’s 23 man squad: