World Cup Russia 2018

Football

Danny Drinkwater.

Twitter is not happy with the reason Danny Drinkwater rejected late England call-up

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Gareth Southgate hasn't had the easiest ride as England manager since taking over from Sam Allardyce last year.

Although the Three Lions qualified for the World Cup in Russia next summer from a relatively straightforward group that featured the likes of Slovakia, Slovenia and Scotland as their main rivals, the 47-year-old is yet to have a fully-fit squad.

In fact, he's yet to have anything close to a fully-fit squad. The former Middlesbrough boss was missing as many as 13 players from England's last squad that played out their two final group games and it hasn't gotten much better this time around.

England will face Germany and Brazil in a pair friendlies of friendlies at Wembley on Friday and Tuesday respectively.

However, Southgate has lost all of Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli for these friendlies through injury.

As a result, the England boss attempted to call-up Chelsea's £35 million man Danny Drinkwater as a replacement, but the former Leicester star rejected the manager's advances.

"I spoke to Danny earlier in the week but he feels he is not fit enough to play," Southgate said.

In fairness, the midfielder has only played 22 minutes of Premier League action this season and 41 minutes overall. That's actually less time on the pitch this season than Jack Wilshere who Southgate appears to refuse to call-up.

It's understandable that a half-fit Drinkwater may not want to be off the pace when facing two of the best teams in the world, but plenty of fans on Twitter believed he should have answered the proverbial call of duty regardless.

Speaking of the injured players Southgate will have to do without, he insisted he would never take a chance with the fitness of his troops.

"The players are injured and cannot play," Southgate told BBC Radio 5 live. "I am not a manager who wants to reel players out until they break. I don’t take risks with players."

AS Roma v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

With so many players missing that would likely feature next summer in Russia, it's hard to see how these friendlies are going to truly show where the Three Lions sit next to the international heavyweights ahead of next summer.

On the other hand, it's a great opportunity for some inexperienced players to make a name for themselves. Crystal Palace loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek is reportedly set to start against Germany on Friday and will win his first cap in the process.

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Daniel Drinkwater
Football
World Cup

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