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England confirm the 26th choice for Euro 2020 – Sums up media overkill

1 month ago

I’m guessing that most of you reading this are very similar to myself when it comes to views on the England national side.

As a Newcastle United fan it is Newcastle for me first, second, third…

If it was a choice between England winning this summer’s Euros (or even a World Cup) or Newcastle United winning anything, whether Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, or even the League Cup, it would be NUFC every time.

However, when the big tournaments come around every other summer (in normal times – Euro 2021 is a year delayed and then Qatar 2022 will be played in the winter!), I do love watching the games, especially when England are playing.

Especially in the pub. A big bonus as well is that if you have mates who support other clubs, it is a rare chance for you all to be willing the same team to win.

What I don’t like with England is the media overkill. With modern media there are so many pages, websites, radio and TV programmes to be filled, it is just embarrassing what we end up with.

The daft international fortnights, the norm is now four during the season! The best part of two weeks of absolute nonsense, as the media debate to the finest details what team should be selected, the tactics they should use, what happened during the game, talking about what Southgate and the players said afterwards…and all of this when England were playing San Marino or similar no-hopers. So many countries now and with bigger tournaments, especially as one of the top seeds, England giving walkover squads basically to qualify.

Monday morning has seen the confirmation (see below) of who the 26th member of the England squad will be, Brighton’s Ben White replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold. This follows day after day after day of having to read, hear, watch hours and hours of discussion on who should be number 26.

It is painful, all this nonsense from the media, on somebody who will have zero chance of being involved, unless there is some major injury or covid crisis with England.

Ben White is quite literally 26th choice.

Back in the day, it was 22 man squads, you would have a first eleven pretty much nailed on, with then another maybe three or four competing to be in the team and possibly getting a chance, another two or three longshots to get a game maybe if a few injuries, then three or four who are basically only there to make up the numbers or in case of an injury crisis.

Squads were then increased to 23 for tournaments and this time it is 26 on the back of covid impact.

Fair play to Ben White and I can understand Brighton fans getting a boost seeing one of their included BUT for the rest of us, honestly, who cares?

If White wasn’t in the first 26 choices, as 27th choice I definitely don’t see him getting near the pitch.

Nevertheless he, as well as those who we now know were 28th choice or worse, will be endlessly debated today and Tuesday, Wednesday etc etc, because they need to have something to endlessly talk and write about.

I’d rather we heard about promising players for other competing countries who we might not know a lot about, so when the games come around when England aren’t playing, you have a bit of insight.

However, instead we will see clueless pundits and commentators (and newspapers and websites) covering non-England games and not having a clue about what / who they are watching.

If you don’t believe me, just look at both the live TV match coverage of Newcastle United this past season, as well as what was said / written in between. People paid to do the job and yet not having a clue about Newcastle beyond what the Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley propaganda machine was putting out…

So yes, I will be cheering on ‘Ingerland’ over the course of the next five (hopefully!) weeks but I will be doing my best to tune out of the media coverage.

England Official Announcement on 26th member of Euro 2020 squad – Monday 7 June 2021:

‘Brighton and Hove Albion’s Ben White has been added to England’s 26-man squad for UEFA EURO 2020.

The 23-year-old replaces Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was ruled out of the tournament last week through injury.

Having made his England debut against Austria in Middlesbrough last Wednesday, White further impressed on his first start for the Three Lions as he played the duration of Sunday’s win against Romania back at the Riverside Stadium.

It is just reward for the Dorset-born defender, who capped his first full campaign in the Premier League by being named Brighton’s men’s player of the season over the weekend.

Gareth Southgate’s squad will continue their tournament preparation at St. George’s Park this week ahead of the Group D opener against Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The Squad

1. Jordan Pickford
2. Kyle Walker
3. Luke Shaw
4. Declan Rice
5. John Stones
6. Harry Maguire
7. Jack Grealish
8. Jordan Henderson
9. Harry Kane
10. Raheem Sterling
11. Marcus Rashford
12. Kieran Trippier
13. Dean Henderson
14. Kalvin Phillips
15. Tyrone Mings
16. Conor Coady
17. Jadon Sancho
18. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
19. Mason Mount
20. Phil Foden
21. Ben Chilwell
22. Ben White
23. Sam Johnstone
24. Reece James
25. Bukayo Saka
26. Jude Bellingham


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