Thursday, April 25, 2024

England squad announcement – mixed emotions for Gunners

Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale have been included in England’s squad for upcoming Nations League friendlies with Italy and Germany.

The matches represent the last chance for Gareth Southgate to run the rule over candidates for the World Cup so their inclusion bodes well for them.

Conversely, both Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe have missed out again.

Neither was selected for the four fixtures played in June with White struggling for fitness at the end of a long season and Smith Rowe instead featuring for the under-21s.

Given Smith Rowe is injured, it’s no surprise to learn he’ll be spending the Interlull at London Colney but White, who has played a lot of football this season, now appears to be behind the likes of Conor Coady and Eric Dier.

No doubt he’ll be frustrated, especially as he believes he’s come a long way in the year since he joined the Gunners from Brighton.

Reflecting on how much he’s grown, he told “A lot as a person; I think more as a person than a player. When you come to such a big club like this, there’s a lot more to it than you’d think.

“As a player, I’ve become more confident and been showing the confidence put in me, and trying to perform to the level that the manager wants every week is something that I’m looking forward to.”

Given the hectic schedule coming up for players across the Premier League, anything can happen on the injury front. White will need to keep his head down, work hard and hope the chips fall in his favour.

Full England squad

Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest, loan from Manchester United), Nick Pope (Newcastle United), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)

Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Everton, loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Manchester City), Declan Rice (West Ham United), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)

Forwards: Tammy Abraham (AS Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

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Harry Maguire instead of Ben White…..says it all really.

A Different George

I think Dier is the bigger problem (I am trying hard not to be influenced by his club affiliation). Pretty strong in the air, and works hard, but poor on the ball and so cannot play out, not pacey enough, can only play as the central defender in a three. And lack of pace and technical quality make him very prone to mistakes that non-English referees won’t be as likely to overlook.

Emi Rates

You forget his inability to form any human sound beyond grunting.


No surprise that Southgate really does have his favorites but even so I am shocked by this. Connor Coady and Maguire over a Ben White who has started every game this year for a team who is top the table seems very odd


Yep all feeling stale, which is a shame. Southgate has done a great job reinvigorating the national team but I wonder if he’ll be gone in 2023.


IMO White is a better football player than Maguire.


Chalk and cheese….


Better than a legend like Maguire? Sorry, leg-end like Maguire…of course Ben is!


No one wants a chalk toastie

Woolwich Tiern time

Although then again you are better keeping the cheese off of the blackboard

Bleeding gums murphy

I’m English but looking at that squad they ain’t winning no World Cup. A better manager and we may have won the euros and at least got to final of last World Cup.

Woolwich Tiern time

As an Arsenal fan you somewhat relish our players being kept fresh, but maddening as an Englishman to see a player i woupd deem first choice for the role clearly not being given the chance to cement a place. Hard to compute Sancho being left out also if we’re honest


…and able to cover two, or even three positions (CDM).


He’s also a better human being than Maguire, who looks like a finger painting of Frankenstein’s monster done by a talentless child.

Eric Blair

Betty White? No doubt

Emi Rates

Mustafi at his most shit is a better player than Maguire.

Jeremy DG

Southgate maybe a good spokesman but he’s an awful manager who should be nowhere near this job. Watch england get dumped out in the group stages or the last 16 having bored everyone to death. What a waste of a talented generation.

Man Manny

Sad for White, but I believe he is in the manager’s mental waiting list. Things could still turn in his favour – hopefully. If not, let him channel that frustration into Arsenal games and it won’t be long before he is back in the England fold.


Pointless games so the more rest the better for everyone at this stage. Have a feeling White might sneak his way onto the plane via an injury to one of Southgate’s loyalists.

Kentish Gooner

White overlooked but Dier, Guehi, Maguire and Coady in the squad 🤨.


That’s a horrible squad. Dire? Grealish? Phillips? Phillips??? His played all of 13 minutes for City. Remember the days when England squads were picked on form rather then what they’d done a year previously?


We’re still recovering from Emile Heskey getting picked by default

Boy Bastin

True, but Southgate presumably wants to use these games as a final testing board and therefore needs to see as many “possibles” as he can. That said, I’m not sure White will make the final cut, which would be unfortunate, but we’ll see.


I’d imagine White has mostly been left out because he’s been playing right back and England are well stocked there. Bit harsh really, his versatility should be in his favour (especially for a WC squad) rather than held against him.


That thought did cross my head but I thought England were still playing with a back 3?
White would be very handy as the RCB in that system (probably better than CB or RB in a back 4).


Can’t believe Mr Minecraft who hardly played gets the nod ahead of White. I feel his frustration


How is BW not in this squad? Criminal.

Naked Cygan

Ben White can have a well earned rest. This crazy season any games our players can rest in is a bonus. We can’t afford any needles injuries.


Needles injuries? Do we have many recreational drug users among the squad?


Bang average squad selected by a bang average manager.


Too true. Not saying I had any love for the 00s England squad with the majority of the players’ club affiliations, and their commitment to shitting the bed at every major tournament. But my word, just on talent here, take a look at those midfield options and compare with the names we’d have seen 15 years ago 😬 Had absolutely no appetite for this world cup in the first place, but the prospect of watching one of football’s dullest managers coach a Rice/Phillips double pivot through another tournament isn’t helping matters. In case I’ve not been clear up to this… Read more »


Weird, Ben white is better than all the cb’s in the squad. Wonder if he now insists on playing only in the cb spot from now on.


3rd best maybe,
Tomori and Stones are better than him

Boy Bastin

Good news for Saka and Ramsdale – let’s hope they do well and cement their places in the final squad. On the other hand, disappointment for White particularly and I’ve a feeling his chances of making the final cut are rapidly getting slimmer. You never know though, funny old game football.


I hope Saka gets a rest for one match at least. Given how much he plays for us he needs to look after his body.

Boy Bastin

Yes, it’s a balance, isn’t it. Do enough but not too much so you’re tired out. Southgate is an experienced manager so should be aware of the pitfalls (fingers crossed).

Kareem Mohamed

A bit annoying to hear that Benjamin White missed out (a bit like the omission of Jesus from the Brazil squad) but it could be a blessing for Arsenal.


Let’s be honest, we’d like as few of our players as possible in there for the World Cup. It’s not just it occurring in the middle of the season, it’s getting players back from going through that experience with England. We all know what our media is like, we all know the competency of the manager and we all know that the squad itself doesn’t look remotely as promising as it did a few years ago. All that adds up to something impacted player are going to have to quickly recover from when they get knocked out last 16/last 8.


I love Arsenal and I love the players. The last thing I would wish for is for one of our players to miss out on one the greatest football experiences. Pretty selfish there.


Correction: (********* *******)

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Benjamin has been excellent this season, his defending has definitely improved since the last. How he didn’t make the squad but some others did, is a joke.
Anyway, my only concern is Arsenal and this disappointment might motivate Benjamin to being a better player for us


What makes it a Nations League friendly instead of a regular friendly?


Maguire over Ben White?! WOW! I guess Southgate doesn’t like winning


To miss out on selection to an Easter Island statue and Eric Dire must be pretty galling.

Merlin’s Panini

Isn’t that just two Easter Island statues 🗿 🗿 ?

Merlin’s Panini

Ben White can only be getting overlooked here because he’s been playing at right back. England has a few good options there already. If he were playing centre back I’m sure he’s be getting in ahead of Coady and Dire (deliberate typo).
You’d think his versatility might also work in his favour but Southgate is not the most imaginative coach and seems to be fixated on the disaster that is Harry Maguire. A player who he’s fortunate hasn’t cost him yet, but I’m sure he will eventually.


This is great news.

It’s horrible enough seeing Saka’s name next to “Kane”. That’s quite enough.

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