Southgate explains choices: 'Difficult not to select Henderson'

Gareth Southgate provided an explanation on Tuesday afternoon about England's preliminary squad selection. Among others, Jordan Henderson, Marcus Rashford, and Luke Shaw have missed out.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 02:51, 21 May 2024

Henderson has consistently been a part of Southgate's core squad in recent years, but the Ajax player will now miss the European Championship.

"It was difficult for me to leave Henderson out of the squad; he has always been a great support," Southgate explained at a press conference. "The decisive factor was the injury he sustained during the last camp. He missed five weeks and was unable to reach the required intensity."

Southgate's decision to exclude Henderson has raised eyebrows, given the player's leadership and experience. Henderson has been a key figure in the team's midfield, providing stability and tactical awareness. His absence will undoubtedly be felt, and Southgate acknowledged the emotional difficulty of the decision, emphasizing the player's significant contributions over the years.

Manchester United players Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw also received bad news. "I just feel that other players in his position have had better seasons. That's all," Southgate said about Rashford, highlighting the intense competition for places in the squad. Rashford's season has been inconsistent, with injuries and form affecting his performances.

Luke Shaw's exclusion is similarly rooted in injury concerns. "He's close. But he has missed a lot of football. Since he is our first choice in that position, we will probably give him a bit more time. I have spoken with him, but I have to say that he has a small chance of making the final squad," Southgate explained. Shaw's fitness has been a persistent issue, and while his talent is undeniable, his ability to maintain peak condition has been questioned.

Ben White is once again not part of the England squad. The Arsenal defender indicated some time ago that he no longer wanted to be considered for international duty. "I haven't spoken to him," said Southgate. "As far as I know, he is not available for us." White's decision to step back from international football has been respected by Southgate, who focuses on players fully committed to the national team.

England will play a friendly match against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Monday, June 3. This match will be an opportunity for Southgate to assess his squad's readiness and to try different tactical setups. Four days later, a match against Iceland will serve as the final test before the upcoming European Championship in Germany. These friendlies are crucial for fine-tuning the team's approach and ensuring that the players are in peak condition for the tournament.

The European Championship will be a significant challenge for England, with high expectations from fans and pundits alike. Southgate's squad decisions, including the difficult omissions, are all aimed at creating the best possible team to compete on the continental stage. The blend of seasoned veterans and emerging talents will be critical as England seeks to make a deep run in the tournament and potentially secure their first major international trophy since 1966.

Updated: 02:51, 21 May 2024