Gareth Southgate reveals he only called three players about England World Cup spots
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Gareth Southgate has revealed he only phoned three players to tell them they have secured a spot in England’s World Cup squad.
The Three Lions boss announced his 26-man travelling party to Qatar on Thursday afternoon.
After the announcement, Southgate spoke to the media and revealed that he only called three players about their place in the squad. The three players were Kyle Walker, Kalvin Phillips and James Maddison. Southgate also revealed he called the players that didn’t make it into the 26.
The England boss said: “The only phone calls I've made are the two players coming back from injury [Phillips and Walker], the lads left out and James [Maddison].
“There aren't enough hours in the day [to phone everyone].”
BREAKING: England's squad for the 2022 World Cup! 🏴 pic.twitter.com/vodZr3UM3M— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 10, 2022
Eyebrows were raised when Walker and Phillips were included, due to their ongoing fitness problems and lack of minutes.
Southgate explained his decision to include the Manchester City duo, he said: “[I] wanted to make sure we’ve got the balance of the squad right. The squad is more important - with five substitutes you can have almost half the team changed.
“You want different options for matches and different stages of the tournament.
“Having 26 available meant we were able to take a couple of risks that we maybe couldn’t with 23.”
Conor Gallagher was another major talking point after the midfielder struggled to nail down a place in the Chelsea starting eleven.
Southgate however, was full of praise for the 22-year-old. He said: “He's fantastic at pressing the ball. He's not as experienced as some of the others but he has an impact in games. When you look at midfielders you often ask, do they stop goals, create goals or score goals? He does a lot of all of that.”
"That would be deemed arrogant" 😤— Chelsea FC News (@Chelsea_FL) November 10, 2022
Southgate expresses why he's taking Conor Gallagher to the World Cup, and not Reece James 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/qKA2fjgCeu
England will be hoping to go one step further than they did in their last major tournament. Last summer, they were agonisingly beaten to Euro 2020 glory after a tense penalty shootout defeat by Italy.
For the tournament in Qatar, England are in Group B alongside Iran, Wales and the United States. They will be kicking off their campaign on November 21.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: England, Football World Cup, Gareth Southgate