More On Gareth Southgate’s Decision To Select Players Based On Number Of Club Appearances Rather Than Ability And United’s Future Transfer Policy Still Unresolved

Posted: September 14, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, England, Football, International Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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Nice one Gareth! His latest wheeze is that anybody expecting to play for his England team in the future should be playing regularly at their club.

He did leave the statement open to a little interpretation in that if, for example, he wanted to pick a team made up entirely of players from the Championship, then this would not represent a problem.

If he sticks with Premier League players then his team will not be competing at the top, (not that it has done anyway since 1966).

If he puts his new rule into immediate practice then his next team will contain Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and some Vanarama Conference League players.

Players failing to make the cut, based on his revolutionary new selection policy, would include John Stones, Jesse Lingard, Eric Dier, Marcus Rashford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph and Phil Foden amongst others.

So, although we don’t blame Southgate for the current lack of top quality English players in the game, he is hardly in a position to pick and choose who should play based on club appearances.

Phil Foden, for example, won’t play many games for City this season. Does that make him a worse prospect than any of the other midfielders who will play for their club team?

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League

Phil Foden – Not good enough while he’s at City but that would change if he went to another club, like Watford or Wolves!

If he was at Leicester he would be picked every week so does that mean he would only be good enough for England if he played for Leicester rather than Manchester city?

Selecting players to represent the national team should be a meritocratic decision. It should be based on how well they have been doing in training and who best fits the system. After all, that is exactly what eventually happens when picking the England eleven for a game. A squad of players is called up, the system is decided and then the ones who execute that system best in training are selected on match day. What is so difficult about that?

Yet again, England appear to have delusions of grandeur which is giving them ideas way above their station. They are NOT a world power, they never really have been. They do NOT have many world class players to choose from, in fact, they probably only have one and he can blow hot and cold.

So come back down to earth and pick a team made up of the best players available and not just those who are playing regularly for their clubs otherwise the selection will be made from teams in the bottom half of the Premier League and the Championship.

At the end of the day, England can’t win anything when the “best” players are picked so what chance have they got with this new criterion?

And finally…..

Whisper it quietly but José Mourinho, to everybody’s amazement, wants to sell Anthony Martial. And we thought they were bosom buddies!

He would also not mind too much if Paul Pogba clears off to Barcelona or Real Madrid next summer.

He would, however, quite like a couple of world-class replacements and this could prove to be the stumbling block.


Who will be through the exit door first, these two or José Mourinho?

Assuming firstly that Mourinho himself is still in situ eleven months from now and further assuming that dithering Ed Woodward still hasn’t appointed a Director of Football because he can’t find one who will do the job better than he does, then it is the incomings which may be the problem.

Woodward is going to have to support his manager eventually which may mean selling two players he would really like to keep but who Mourinho would rather see the back of.

The silver lining here is that Ed likes to spend money so would be quite happy to sanction massive deals if he could get a couple of world-class names in providing they were 27 years of age or less.

So will Mourinho still be there? Will there be a Director of Football in place by then? Will Ed Woodward have opened a corner shop on Sir Matt Busby Way where he will sell used players and replica kits?

The only way to find out the answer to all these questions and more is to tune in every day until we lose the will to carry on.


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