England players, pundits and other figures from the football world have posted their reactions to Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, which was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Kyle Walker and Marcus Rashford are among the players to have reacted so far, with the latter paying a sweet tribute to his mum for her dedication through his life growing up as a young footballer.
Several others included in the squad have tweeted to speak of the ‘honour’ that has been bestowed upon them, with it clear to see that plenty of dreams have been made a reality this afternoon.
What an honour! No words to describe the feeling right now….. Can’t wait to get going! See you in Russia gbeng 女女女
— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) May 16, 2018
Milner tweeted the perfect picture, taken from a previous training session, which shows Jordan Henderson smiling and Alexander-Arnold cupping his mouth in shock.
“Congrats to these two for making the @England World Cup squad,” he wrote, “don’t look so shocked Trent, you deserve it!”
Match of the Day host Gary Lineker was also pleased to see Alexander-Arnold’s inclusion, and also hailed Southgate for naming Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the squad.
Here is the England squad. Congratulations to all. Particularly pleased that Gareth has gone with the exciting young double of double-barrelled prospects, Loftus-Cheek and Alexander-Arnold. Good luck. pic.twitter.com/2SkAY8SKcc
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 16, 2018
ESPN journalist Rob Dawson, who is their Manchester United correspondent, has praised the four United players included in the squad, but has also expressed his dismay that Chris Smalling has been left out of the squad, despite being a key figure in United’s solid defence.
Journalist Henry Winter has pointed out that a lot of the squad have come through Football League clubs, while others have had experience of non-league. Winter, of the Times, hailed the importance of the English football pyramid.
Rashford, Lingard, Jones and Young all deserve their places in the England squad but think Smalling can feel a bit hard done by. A regular in one of the best defences in the country and barely even considered.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) May 16, 2018
Southgate’s #EnglandSquad packed with players whose careers began at @EFL clubs (and some with non-League experience), a reminder of the importance of the English pyramid. And why @premierleague clubs should contribute more in trickle-down payments.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) May 16, 2018
Gareth Southgate has shown he’s bold and brutal by making brave calls selecting 2018 World Cup squad. My verdict: https://t.co/1zBqxX85h9
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile, the Mirror’s John Cross hailed Southgate for being ‘bold and brutal’ in selecting his squad for the tournament in Russia.
Cross is certainly right, as Southgate has named six players under the age of 23 in his squad, including Eric Dier and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
There were more potential young candidates for a spot, with Jadon Sancho and Ademola Lookman among those to be tipped, but Southgate also needs a blend of ‘experience’ in his squad.