Gareth Southgate makes his England squad announcement for their upcoming Nations League games with four played across June.
Just days on from a breathless Premier League final day and with the Champions League final this Saturday, international football, there is no time to rest with the first Three Lions game on the 4th of June.
Southgate sees his side play Hungary and Germany next week, before welcoming Euro 2020 final foes Italy and Hungary to Molineux as the national team goes on the road.
Hungary (a), 5pm Saturday 4 June, Puskas Arena, Budapest
Germany (a), 7.45pm, Tuesday 7 June, Allianz Arena, Munich
Italy (h), 7.45pm, Saturday 11 June, Molineux, Wolverhampton
Hungary (h), 7.45pm, Tuesday 14 June, Molineux, Wolverhampton
LATEST ENGLAND SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Nick Pope (Burnley), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Marc Guéhi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), James Justin (Leicester City) Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Ben White (Arsenal)
Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, loan from Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), 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 (Manchester City)
England boss Gareth Southgate on Jarrod Bowen’s inclusion: “Consistently strong performances. We were certainly thinking about involving him in March before he got injured. He is a goal threat and he is direct. His journey is really interesting in terms of the experiences he has had.
“It’s a reminder you don’t have to be at an elite academy and come through that pathway. Coming through the lower divisions is also a great route he worked incredibly hard for the team. He has thoroughly deserved his call up.”
More from Gareth Southgate on what he hopes to achieve from the games: “Always with England you want to play well and win. We’ve always had a desire to develop players and give them opportunities. That is another factor in his – we are only six matches away from the World Cup. We want to be successful in the Nations league – we’ve learnt a lot from it – but there’s also a chance to learn about other players.
“The decision around Jordan Henderson – I don’t need to know anymore about him and he’s played a lot of football this season. Trent [Alexander-Arnold] likewise, he’ll probably be with us for the first part of the game and then that’s enough for him.”
Meanwhile, John Stones and Nick Pope opened up on some of their own experiences around mental health.
“The pitch can be a lonely place I think. Very lonely,” Stones said.
“If things aren’t going well for you as an individual, sometimes you feel the weight of the crowd and you feel the weight of the pressure on your own shoulders that you put on yourself because you know you can do better and you know you’ve got that standard.
“I think for me when I was out of the team for quite a while – maybe a year or so or maybe a bit more – at the start it was difficult. I was questioning myself. What was I doing? What could I do to get back in the team? And it spirals.
“I think anyone that’s been in a difficult place or a dark place, you can’t see the light sometimes.
“So, yeah, I did a lot of self-reflecting and a lot of self-criticism, which is never easy, but I think it’s the best way to go about improving.”
The centre back continued: “At that time, I had the mentality of a lot of boys and men in the world where I thought I could deal with it and do it by myself but speaking out to people that I trust helped a lot. It helped just venting things at times and getting it off my chest.
“My biggest advice is if someone is feeling lonely or in a dark place, try to speak to someone. And the bigger challenge is for those people around that person. It is to ask the person that you can see is hurting or in a bad place ‘how are you?’ or ‘would you like to speak’ and don’t just stop at that, because it is so easy for someone to just reply ‘yeah I’m alright’ and then it is the next day or that afternoon or the night or following morning.
“I would challenge those people to not stop and make sure they do more for the person who may be in a dark place.”
Pope said: “I think something we have spoken about at a club level and here [with England] is controlling the controllables. Those things which are out of your control are really things which can’t be helped and you can’t have an effect on but they can affect you. So something which has stood me in good stead when it comes to my mental health is to try to really affect what I can affect and really look after those things.
“If you are not happy about something, what is something which, maybe it is only something really small, but you can change to make it better? And take that step in the right direction and if you make that first step in a right direction, then it is a positive step and then you look at the next step after that and the next one and you take one at a time until you are feeling in a better place.
“Then you don’t stop there just because you are feeling slightly better. You can keep it going and really have the evolving thoughts that when you are in a good place, you can get to a slightly better place.
“I think as a footballer, you always want to improve but that is something which you can take into life as well.”
Fans reacted as Gareth Southgate makes his latest England squad announcement for upcoming games…
@avfcgabe: on what basis is mings dropping out the squad and maguire isn’t?
@LB1874: Maguire is twice the player and always turns up for england
Maguire over Mings 😭
Dier over White
And Gallagher over Maddison
@AVFC_Aston: Bellingham over Ramsey. Grealish in the squad. Come on Scotland 🏴🏴
@afcjxmes: Maddison should be in ahead of Gallagher
@Craig_Pankhurst: Staggering selections. Thought Southgate picked based on form? Clearly not the case.
@TalkingTHFC: Eric Dier absolutely robbed once again but you won’t hear me complaining. A well deserved rest.
@CFC_REC: Finally saw the light and called up Fikayo Tomori
@Lilywhite_Rose: Coady, White and Maguire but no Dier. Get this clueless fool Southgate out.
@TottenhamTiers: Connor Coady and Harry Maguire but no Eric Dier? Shambles.
@honde17: Ben White over Dier 😭😭😭😭 southgate is finished
@samhursty: Gallagher over Maddison 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
@JxmesCPFC: Feel bad for Mitchell but happy for Geuhi & Gallagher. Glad Tomori got a call up too.
@ReeceJMT: Guehi and Tomori are about to form a partnership for the next 10 years
Harry Maguire 😭😭pic.twitter.com/mAaEUrudLm
— . (@LundstramLoyall) May 24, 2022
Tyrone Mings dropped pic.twitter.com/pZuVR60Zzi
— ً (@ProudieYT) May 24, 2022