A recurrent theme for England bosses has been that they pick players based on reputation and not form. I analysed Southgate’s selection and have looked at two players who I feel have been picked for the England squad on reputation.
Gary Cahill and Danny Welbeck Should Not be in the England Squad
Cahill has been in and out of the Chelsea team this year and has been widely criticised. Against Newcastle recently he was extremely poor with him struggling to cope with the limited Ayoze Perez. Any ball down the side of him and he was beaten for it. His distribution has also declined with him and is also lacking in confidence. With 58 caps and many club honours, Southgate will argue that Cahill will bring experience to a youthful England.
Experience of Failure?
However, his experience with England is being knocked out after nine days at Brazil 2014 and losing to minnows Iceland at Euro 2016. With the likes of Jamal Lascelles, James Tomkins and James Tarkowski, who have been receiving plaudits for their clubs ignored, it is felt by many that Southgate has picked Cahill on past glories. It does make you wonder that if Lascelles had been at a top-six side would he now be in the England squad? If Cahill does perform badly for England, Southgate will have left himself open to criticism.
The strengths of Danny Welbeck are that he is hardworking and very quick. However, he has no composure in front of a goal and is not great at retaining the ball. Having played in many Europa League games this year he is far behind stars like Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang and Alexandre Lacazette and potentially could be let go by Arsenal this summer.
Goal Record May Be Southgate’s Defence
Southgate would argue that Wellbeck has a good record for England; 15 goals in 37 games. His versatility is also a vital asset. However, this is again selection due to past form and reputation. Southgate selection may be analysed forensically if Welbeck struggles to make an impact.