With club football currently taking a back seat over the next two weeks we sat down with former England and Liverpool winger John Barnes to discuss the England squad. Barnes touched on the England squad and exclusion of Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling from Gareth Southgate’s selection.
In this article:
- Sterling’s form has only recently improved
- Barnes backs Southgate despite fans turning
Should Raheem Sterling have been called up for the latest England squad? TalkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan argues otherwise saying he’s been bang average. Jordan believes England don’t need the Chelsea winger and he won’t be missed. However, former England defender Rio Ferdinand has shared his disbelief at the Sterling’s exclusion on his Vibe with Five podcast saying:
“Free my guy, free Raheem Sterling. I don’t know what he’s done, whose nose he’s put out of joint. Was it him coming back from the tournament or something like that?
“I don’t know what’s happened but for him not to be in the England squad is beyond me. I know there’s a lot of talent but if we’re talking form then he’s got more assists and goal involvements than Rashford and Grealish together.
Sterling’s Form Has Only Recently Improved
Barnes, who knows a thing or two about being a winger for the national team, says Sterling has only recently shown an upturn in form which would justify an inclusion in the latest squad. It could also be argued that Southgate already knows what he’s likely to get from Raheem Sterling and this squad gives him the chance to experiment with the likes of Cole Palmer who got his first call up this week.
“Raheem has played well in the last two or three games for Chelsea and Chelsea haven’t been doing too well up until recently.
“People are looking at the last two or three matches and saying he should be called up but if you look at the amount of talent available to Gareth Southgate it’s a tough situation to be in.
“I’ll always have Raheem in the England squad but I don’t think it’s an issue of Raheem not being in the squad. Raheem may warrant being in the squad based on recent form but the squad was picked before the City game so he will be back in the squad at some point.”
Sterling and his Chelsea team-mates are set to return to action on Saturday 25th November, when they travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle United, in what is certain to be a tricky test for Maurico Pochettino’s side. Chelsea are priced at 13/8 on Sky Bet to beat Eddie Howe’s men in that match, and be sure to take advantage of the generous Sky Bet sign-up offer as a new customer.
Barnes Backs Southgate Despite Fans Turning
There are calls from fans that Raheem Sterling is more deserving of a place in the England squad than the likes of Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling. However, Barnes claims he has full faith and trust in Gareth Southgate despite the fact fans and naysayers have started to turn on the England manager.
“Gareth Southgate picks the team and we trust Gareth Southgate. Fans will always have an opinion on who should and shouldn’t be in the squad. I respect and trust what Gareth says and does. He knows how he wants his team to play.
“He may feel that what Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford have to offer may differ to what Raheem offers. Jack hasn’t been playing all the time, which is somewhat similar to Harry Maguire at United.
“Jack may be in the squad but may not be in the England starting 11 so therefore he’s an option off the bench. Whilst if you have Raheem in the squad you can’t have him on the bench. You’d want him on the team.“