It’s been a dramatic week in the life of Gareth Southgate.
After Sam Allardyce was sacked after being caught on camera appearing to tell undercover reporters how to get around transfer rules, Southgate was given the job until the end of 2016.
His first job as England manager was to name his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia, and even that bought about a strong reaction on social media, with many reacting angrily to his selection of Stoke City’s Glen Johnson and Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard.
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And he's been left with a new headache today after he was met with the news that Raheem Sterling would be unavailable for the games through injury, something that will undoubtedly frustrate Southgate.
The Manchester City winger has had an excellent start to the season after a difficult last few months, and has been a shining light under Pep Guardiola. City still haven’t stated the exact nature of his injury.
Southgate’s decision was to bring Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend into his squad. The former Newcastle man has started the season really well after his £13 million move from St. James’ Park, and has starred in all seven of the Eagles’ opening Premier League matches so far.
Despite only playing one match for England all year and being left out of the Three Lions’ Euro 2016 squad by Roy Hodgson, Townsend has got quite an impressive international record.
The 25-year-old has scored three goals in just 11 matches for the national team, including an impressive strike on debut against Montenegro.
England are expected to win both matches under Southgate, and Townsend will hope he can put in the sort of performances to keep him in the squad for November’s internationals as well.