World Cup Russia 2018

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Jack Wilshere.

The confusing new reason Gareth Southgate hasn't picked Jack Wilshere for England

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England may have qualified for the World Cup with relative ease, but boss Gareth Southgate is having a hard time putting a squad together.

After 13 players were missing from his last England squad, the former Middlesbrough boss has been hit with a series of withdrawals for the forthcoming games with Germany and Brazil, too.

The likes of Harry Winks, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli have all pulled out of the squad leaving Southgate without a captain.

Southgate has now bestowed Eric Dier with the honour of being England captain and that decision has met with some fierce criticism on Twitter.

Still, Southgate's insistence on leaving Jack Wilshere out of his England squad has been something of a hot topic over the past few days.

Not only did the Arsenal midfielder not make the original squad, but with the slew of injuries that swept through the squad, Southgate opted against bringing Wilshere into the fold.

Both Jake Livermore and Jark Cork were given the nod before the 34-time England international. Southgate had previously stated Wilshere hadn't played enough football to earn a call-up, but then Danny Drinkwater, a man who has played less minutes than Wilshere this year, rejected a late call-up because he isn't match-fit.

However, now the England boss is suggesting it's a positional issue with Wilshere, not so much fitness.

Arsenal FC v Crvena Zvezda - UEFA Europa League

"Jack played as a number 10 all of last season on loan at Bournemouth," Southgate told reporters on Thursday.

"That is not the way we are playing. When we have played with a 10, we have had Dele and (Adam) Lallana. But we are not playing with a 10 tomorrow.

"I don't think Jack is a 10. I think he is a deeper player, but he is not playing deeper. You'd have to ask Arsene (Wenger, the Arsenal manager) why that was.

Crvena Zvezda v Arsenal FC - UEFA Europa League

"But I want to be clear: I really like Jack Wilshere as a player. I think he is a talent and I really respect him as an individual. And I'm hoping that we are in a position in March where we can pick him."

With the squad stretched the way it is, is Southgate suggesting Wilshere couldn't play in the midfield? He says England aren't playing with a 10 against Germany, but then he says Wilshere isn't a 10 and should play deeper - but if that's the case then surely he'd play him deeper on Friday night?

Very confusing, mixed signals from Southgate.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Jack Wilshere
Football
World Cup

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