Monday, July 4, 2022

Southgate explains Smith Rowe absence as Gunners pair get England nod

Gareth Southgate has called up Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale for England’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers but Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe have both missed out.

The Three Lions are set to play Albania on 12 November at Wembley before taking on San Marino, away, three days later as they look to seal qualification for Qatar 2022.

Given his impressive form for Arsenal in the last couple of months, many had tipped Smith Rowe to be selected, however, with competition for places as strong as its ever been, his wait for a senior nod goes on. It’s likely the midfielder will instead play for Lee Carsley’s under-21s.

Listening to Southgate, it sounds like Emile is edging closer.

“I think Emile, Conor Gallagher and Marc Guehi, in particular, are all playing very well with their clubs but we’ve got depth,” the England manager told reporters.

“To put those in, we’ve got to leave some of those on the sheet out. I think it’s not a bad thing that we’re starting to get a very strong under-21 team because you want that depth. We fast-tracked lots of young players quickly and the majority of them are still in this squad now. A lot of them played a big part in the Euros.

“We’ve also had some come up and then when you put them back with the under-21s it’s a lot more complicated so we want to get the timing of that right.

“The boys I’ve just mentioned are on a really good path, we like them, we get to see them with the under-21s as well as their clubs.

“At the moment, we think it’s a little early for some of those guys to come in, we could put them in and they would be absolutely fine by the way, but we think the players we’ve picked are just a little bit ahead at the moment.”

England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kyle Walker

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, James Ward-Prowse

Forwards: Tammy Abraham, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling

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Wierdly, I’d have ESR in the squad before Saka at the moment. And, didn’t Southgate see Maguire against Liverpool? How White doesn’t get in is beyond me!

The Beast

I can sort of understand leaving ESR out as there’s some good competition in that area of the pitch but leaving out White in favour of Mings, Coady & even Maguire on current form seems insane.

Nothing against those players but, maybe Coady aside, they’ve just been kinda shit. Wasn’t Mings benched in Villa’s last match?

djourou's nutmeg

this might come to a surprise to most arsenal fans, but you don’t keep or discard a player based on his last 3 performances when trying to build a winning team.

The Beast

What, against San Marino?

Joe Soap

It’s San Morino, Chelsea have more players out on loan than they have to pick from. Their record is played 76, won 1 goals for 8 against 340, even Maguire shouldn’t be troubled and the other Harry might get on the score sheet.


White plays for Bighton in a back three…gets selected for world cup squad. White moves to Arsenal, Arsenal rarely concede with White in a back 4 doesn’t get selected. Nothing to see here.

Mr November

I don’t think Southgate is a good manager, and Smith Rowe definitely deserves to be in the squad but there’s not really any need to rush him. It’s possibly a good thing for Emile to go under the radar for a bit longer and not have the scrutiny from the media that he would have if in the senior squad.


Wanted to say just this. Emile has had significant problems with injuries in the not so distant past. Very happy that he misses out playing in qualifying games.

Would be delighted if can shine for us and displace someone in time for the tournament though.


southgate is a public relations manager, not a good football manager who is interested in playing attractive, attacking football.


It’s true. But saka probably needs a rest and Emile would of been a perfect replacement. Why risk saka against San Marino when he was 50/50 for the last game


How’s Tyrone Mings a better defender than Ben white?

King 14enry

He’s not, he’s just left footed. He’d be in the same bucket as Phil Jones if he wasn’t.

The Beast

I mean, he’s not atm is he.

Maybe he’s in there for leadership qualities but strange decision regardless

Petit's Handbag

He is not. Everytime I watch him he’s a walking red card.
You also robbed my comment so apologise please.

Mark Rowe

Emile Smith Rowe, hes one of our own!

Nainsley Aitland Miles

No call up once again for Smith-Rowe, White, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Nketiah, Balogun, Azeez, Nelson, Patino, or Okwonko.

Absolute disgrace.

A Different George

It’s very early still, but I think that in the long run, Foden is the only English player of his age group, at any position, who is likely to be better than Smith Rowe. (If you think that is a put-down of Smith Rowe, it means you haven’t watched Foden enough.)


Reckon Mason Mount is a shout…And that is in no way a diss to ESR, but Mount is kinda good. Could say ESR is starting to Mount a case in the opposite direction.


Southgate sounds like an idiot. There is no meaningful or sensible rationale for leaving out a player like ESR whilst including utter dross, some of whom aren’t playing club football.
Harder and harder to support England with Southgate in charge.

White also incredibly hard done by not to be in the squad ahead of Stones (not playing), Maguire (playing awfully), Coady (garbage), Mings (a joke right now).


To be fair, he took England to the final of the Euros and these are just qualifiers against pretty rubbish teams.


Calm down White. He’s probably saving you for the tournament.


More time for Gabriel and White to continue working on the training ground together, then.

The Beast

Would be interesting to see when Gabriel will get a serious look in by Brazil. You’d think he must be close

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I doubt it will be until Thiago Silva retires from International duty after the 2022 World Cup.


Not to start games, but make the squad? They must be thinking about what’s happening next.

Timorous Me

If he’s not now then they must clearly not be watching our games. Or Edu is in their ears telling them Gabriel’s knee could use a rest instead.


I may be biased but ESR and White are better choice then Ward-prowse and Coady

Walter White

Tyrone Mings hasn’t looked good. Surprised he got the nod ahead of others


🎶 I like it, I like it, I like it, I like it,
I li-li-like it,
Hale End’s on a ro-oll!
Saka and Emile Smith Rowe! 🎶


Better than all the deadwood Southgate has selected. I’m however glad he has not been selected into a team captained by Harry ‘Cheating’ Kane.


Lol.. but he still picks Maguire


Kane has not been performing yet still got the call-up. Tells you everything you need to know.


No Sancho either….
Absolutely fine that ESR has to prove himself more and over a longer period. Past the days when the England squad was picked on reputation, fixed in concrete, but also shouldn’t be picked by the flavor of the month or overvalue “potential”. Not that I am too bother either way, as an American.

The Beast

Sancho hasn’t gotten any minutes lately to be fair. Early days but can’t help but think he may be regretting that move

Teryima Adi

Sancho should have stayed at Dortmund for his development.

Wrighty’s hats

It’s sad and I hope he finds his feet. (Detest the team but like the player.) I hope he doesn’t go down the path that some others have gone, from playing superbly in the Bundesliga to becoming a shadow of their former selves at ManU – thinking of Kagawa from Dortmund a few years back. Still early days as you said though.


A la Mhki


Tyrone Mings, Harry Maguire and Conor Coady ahead of Ben White. OK Gareth buddy, it’s starting to look a bit like cronyism…

Tom Williams

Leave Harry Kane out. He’s rubbish.


Nothing to do with form them Gareth….!


Southgate’s explanations based on consistency and form in this moment are clearly nonsense (Mings and Maguire, what?) but I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fallout and precedent it sets if he leaves the regulars out. Ie: how do you justify reintegrating them into your squad later if their form doesn’t pick up but you need them for specific profiles such as leadership, etc? Also, some may feel that it’s ‘easy’ games against the likes of San Marino and untested youngsters like Gallagher and ESR should be rewarded with call-ups, but it also allows for the… Read more »


The positive that I see from this is that ESR and White have more time to train while potentially avoiding injury of any sort with the national team.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Presumably ESR will be with the Under 21’s.


This is a joke, Mings is ahead of White!! LMAO!!


Good, don’t want White injured wasting time w/ England !!

Forest gooner

ESR would make a better Center back than Harry Maguire.

Brady’s bunch

Happy we get to keep him to ourselves a bit longer 😊


Comments are a bit harsh on Southgate IMO. He’s a conservative manager so you can understand why he’s gone with known quantities for the last round of qualifiers.

If ESR keeps up his form and White continues to improve as he settles in then they’ll both get a look in soon enough.


Perhaps I’m looking through my Arsenal-red tinted glasses, but I’d go far to say that on current form Emile Smith-Rowe is the best attacking mid and Benjamin White is the best central defender from that list. Anyway, I’m sure their time will come.


The England team has always been a boys club to an extent. Maguire will never be dropped.

So much for merit.

Wrighty’s hats

I don’t mind seeing him in the opposing team’s lineup at club level, whatever, but for England…. hopefully others rise and take over his role in that squad soon.


best attacking player in england and he leaves him out. lol

Cranky Colin

What a clueless git.


Yeah right. So let’s exhaust the players who need a rest and not blood in these amazing under 21 talents. Muppet. Saka needs a rest.

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