Gareth Southgate brutally explains why he snubbed Jack Wilshere for England squad

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It's become abundantly clear that Gareth Southgate thinks youth and pace is the way forward for England at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (22) and uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold (19) were both picked for the 23-man squad, with the latter's inclusion coming as a big surprise.

And going forward, Southgate opted for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford to provide speed down the flanks.

Only time will tell whether the 47-year-old has made the right decision with some of his selections, but one cause for concern is the midfield.

Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph, Dele Alli and Loftus-Cheek are the five central players that will travel to Russia, which leaves Jack Wilshere, Jonjo Shelvey and Adam Lallana behind.

And the concern is simply who out of those five players is capable of dictating the tempo of a game and controlling the midfield?

Without mentioning Alli, who plays further forward, it's hard to imagine Henderson, Dier, Delph or Loftus-Cheek dominating in the middle of the park.


Southgate has his reasons for picking them, though, and he's now explained why Wilshere, Shelvey and Lallana missed out.

It's his explanation for Wilshere not making the cut that's most interesting and what England's manager said was actually pretty brutal.


According to Southgate, even though Wilshere has made positive steps over the past nine months, he just hasn't been effective for club and country lately to warrant a place.

"He hasn't played a game for us," said Southgate. "We were really pleased with the way the team played in November and March.

"[The] only player we've added into midfield area is Fabian Delph. Jack has not been as effective towards the end of the season."

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Ouch - talk about speaking the honest truth. Southgate also explained why Shelvey and Lallana won't be travelling to Russia.

"We know all of the English players in the league - their strengths and weaknesses," he said of Shelvey. "We assess someone on the way they fit into the way we play.

"In terms of temperament, some of finest players have more red cards than any people.

"I've had dialogue with Adam throughout season - close and personal conversations. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn't be anywhere near the squad with his playing time.

"Maybe giving him another 10 days, who knows? I'd like to give him the opportunity."

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