Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Southgate to name World Cup squad early to avoid anxiety



Southgate to name World Cup squad early to avoid anxiety

England manager Gareth Southgate attends a press conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Italy. AFP
England manager Gareth Southgate attends a press conference on Monday ahead of Tuesday's friendly with Italy. AFP

Southgate to name World Cup squad early to avoid anxiety

England manager Gareth Southgate plans to name his 23-man World Cup squad early to help avoid unnecessary anxiety among his players.

Tuesday’s promising 1-1 draw in Italy was England’s last match before Southgate names the travelling party for the June 14-July 15 finals in Russia.

Southgate has until May 14 to register a 35-man provisional squad with FIFA and needs to whittle it down to 23 by June 4 – two days after England’s next friendly, against Nigeria.

But the England boss will name his squad before the penultimate warm-up friendly, with the announcement expected shortly after the Premier League season ends on May 13.

“I’d like to [name the squad before the next friendly]because you end up being able to run a performance camp rather than a selection camp,” the England manager said. “I think there’s a difference in the feel for everybody.

“If you name 28 and they aren’t sure, but if you name 23 and five on standby – which Sven [Goran Eriksson] did, well, then everyone knows where they sit.

“If you have got 28 or 30 who think they might have a chance then there’s a lot of uncertainty and anxiety within the games,” he added. “For me, it’s much better to get the 23 secured and work from there.”

Southgate already has a “pretty clear” idea about how he will fill 20 of the slots, and over the identity of his first-choice goalkeeper and skipper.

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford has perhaps edged ahead of Jack Butland, while Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson are frontrunners for the captaincy.

Meanwhile, Adam Lallana is confident his fitness problems will not cost him a place in England’s World Cup plans after an injury-blighted season.

The Liverpool midfielder, who made a second-half appearance against Italy, suffered a serious thigh injury in early August, reducing him to a bit-part role for his club this season.

But the 29-year-old is bullish about his prospects of making the 23-man squad, insisting he has sufficient credit in the bank despite his lack of match time.

“I’m confident enough in my own ability and what I bring to the squad,” he said. “[Southgate] recognises what I bring to the team, my tea-mates recognise that and I recognise it also.”

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42