Alan Shearer chose England’s 26-man squad for the Football World Cup and he chose Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson over Brentford’s Ivan Tony. Gareth Southgate will announce England’s squad for the Qatar Football World Cup on Thursday. He has some big decisions to make, and one of them is which alternate forwards to take.
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Harry Kane is supposed to start, but Wilson and Tony are among the players who are looking for a supporting role on the team. Both forwards have been in top form this season in the Premier League, but Shearer chose Wilson as Tony’s physicality might be too much for the highest level referees. James Maddison, meanwhile, is one of the top players in the Premier League, but it’s not clear if he’ll make it to the tournament.
Shearer believes the Leicester player should definitely leave, with the only point of contention being whether he will start or not. The Newcastle legend also included Ben White and Trent Alexander-Arnold. I would definitely take Leicester City’s James Maddison, who is playing exceptionally well and my only contention would be whether he starts or not, although Gareth clearly doesn’t like something about him, he said.
In attack, I abandoned Ivan Tony from Brentford and chose Tammy Abraham and Callum Wilson. I understand that if England win the Football World Cup they will almost certainly have to win a penalty shootout sometime in the future and I understand the hype surrounding Tony’s involvement. But I would be a little concerned about how his physique might be judged at the highest level. Wilson has long-standing health problems, but he played superbly at Newcastle United.
Harry Kane remains a key player in the England squad. Gareth will sit at the game this weekend with all the fear that nothing bad will happen to his captain and talisman, who may have eclipsed Erling Haaland on the scorers charts, but otherwise he is doing just fine.
In Jude Bellingham, we have an up-and-coming superstar with the potential to set the world on fire, so it feels exciting in that regard. Shearer continued: It’s not just about questionable fitness, it’s about shape. Walker in fitness, Harry Maguire in shape and lack of playing time – one league start for Manchester United since August.
“This is the uniform for Eric Dyer, Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold. Kieran Trippier should be one of the first defenders in the squad at the moment, while Ben White is full of faith in Arsenal, but there are some important calls to make here.”
Alan Shearer’s 26-man England squad.
Goalkeepers: Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope, Aaron Ramsdale.
Defenders: Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben White, Harry Maguire, Conor Coady, Eric Dier, John Stones.
Midfielders: Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, James Maddison, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, James Ward-Prowse.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Callum Wilson, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford.
Wales out to make mark in Qatar after ending 64-year wait for Football World Cup chance
Pay attention to the bucket hats and wait until “Yma o Hyd” stirs the soul. Wales are back for the Football World Cup. Perhaps the longest gap between reaching the final for any country was 64 years, but Wales have rejoined the FIFA party and are planning to enjoy a trip to Qatar.
Back in 1958, the footballing landscape was unrecognizable compared to what is today driven by the media and millions of pounds worth of contracts. Sweden hosted the only Football World Cup to feature all four home nations, and Pelé made a spectacular comeback when Brazil won the first of their record five titles. Wales will regret Pelé’s presence as the 17-year-old finished the quarter-final in Gothenburg as a second-half winner.
But sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. Wales’ manager in Sweden was Jimmy Murphy, Matt Busby’s trusted assistant at Manchester United, who missed the Munich air crash four months ago while he was away in charge of his country. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.
Murphy hails from the mining village of Pentre. Current boss Robert Page shares the same roots as Rhondda, his childhood home in Tylorstown, less than four miles from Murphy’s birthplace. Over six decades ago, Wales had a great talisman on the pitch in John Charles, who missed the game against Brazil with an injury after being cynically targeted by Hungary during a first-round playoff match.
That role is now filled by Gareth Bale, who has scored 40 goals – the most for a Welsh men’s team – in 108 matches. Even at the age of 33 and with limited playing time at club level in recent years, Bale is still capable of winning matches at the biggest stages. As in 1958, Wales needed a play-off to secure a place in the Football World Cup and it was Bale who played the decisive role in the games against Austria and Ukraine.
The former Real Madrid star, now based in the US and fresh from MLS Cup winning with Los Angeles, scored three goals in 2-1 and 1-0 victories as Wales, with a population of around 3.1 million, became smallest country to qualify Qatar Football World Cup. If Euro 2016 and an incredible semi-final victory changed Welsh football culture forever, coming to Qatar took it up a few levels.
Dafydd Ivan’s anthem “Yma o Hyd” is the official song of the Football World Cup in Wales, played at the last matches, and football has played a huge role in the revival of Welsh culture and language. Against all odds, we are still here, runs the chorus, a line used by actor Michael Sheen in a TV appearance that went viral and introduced the growing Welsh identity to a wider British audience.
So much so that the Football Association of Wales should consider changing the name of their national teams to Cymru – the Welsh name for Wales – on the international stage after the Football World Cup. Although the debate will be postponed to another day, around 3,000 Welsh fans, many of whom wear the yellow, red and green bucket hats that have become a symbol of Welsh football culture, are heading to Qatar for group games against England, Iran and the United States.
Hennessy, the hero of the final victory over Ukraine in the June play-offs, is expected to outpace Danny Ward, another Euro 2016 survivor, in goal. Page, who will become the first man to lead Wales in two major tournaments after leading them to the round of 16 of Euro 2020, prefers a 3-4-3 formation with Ethan Ampadu, Joe Rodon and Davies as likely centre-backs.
Connor Roberts and Neko Williams act as cornerbacks and provide tremendous drive and energy. Ampadu is a midfield option, especially if hamstring victim Allen loses the fitness battle alongside Ramsey. Paige must find a way to fit his offensive talents into the system that works best.
Bale, Daniel James and Kieffer Moore offer varied experience, cunning, speed and physical strength, while Brennan Johnson has also shown to be comfortable on the international stage. Wales topped their Euro 2016 group by finishing above England to finish second behind Italy at Euro 2020. Playoffs and a round of 16 potentially against Holland or Senegal are achievable, but Page will look no further than the United States on November 21st. Ahmad bin Ali Stadium v England, 29 November.
Whatever happens, there will be no repeat of the 64-year-old Wales return to Swansea Station a day after the Brazil game. Cliff Jones, Terry Medwin and others told the story of how the conductor, noticing their suitcases, asked where they were on vacation. The 2022 graduates have already become national heroes and are determined to prove that Wales’ long absence from the Football World Cup was worth the wait.
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