Are Arsenal set for four players at the World Cup for the first time in 20 years?

Before withdrawals through Injuries and COVID, England had 4 Gunners in their latest squad for friendlies with Switzerland and Ivory Coast.

A lot can happen from now till December. You wouldn’t have thought so close to a World Cup that Sancho and Rashford would be dropped.

4 years ago Southgate was building his team around Deli Ali, it would be impossible to think he wouldn’t be in the managers thoughts 4 years later.

As things stand though, it’s hard to see the Arsenal players originally selected by the Three Lions this week not going to Qatar.

We had one representative in Russia in 2018, two went to Brazil in 2014, zero in South Africa in 2010 and three In Germany in 2006.

So we are on course to have the most Arsenal players at a World Cup for England since 2002 (also 4).

Arteta deserves credit for their growth. By being the youngest team in the division, it’s forced them to step up in term of responsibility.

Without many obvious leaders in their dressing room, all four (while obviously talented) have shown personality that many assumed they didn’t have.

The cruel irony is his last game before the international break, Ramsdale conceded a goal at his near post, just when debate was intensifying that he should be his nation’s number one

A hip injury has saved Southgate from making what would have been the major talking point this week, who should be his first choice?

Southgate proved before the Euros he doesn’t feel comfortable making a change to such a crucial position with only a few friendlies between now and Xmas.

Pickford rewarded his manager’s faith in him last summer and to be fair has never made the same mistakes for country that he has for his club.

Yet can you keep your belief on someone who could be about to be relegated?

The argument about dropping the Everton keeper for Henderson which existed 12 months ago was Pickford’s confidence with the ball at his feet was crucial to the team.

Yet Ramsdale has proven just as confident as any goalie at passing out from the back and being in possession under pressure.

Smith Rowe and / or Saka would be more likely to not make the list in December purely because of the level of competition.

The top scorers at the Emirates, the duo deserve their inclusion based on their form, yet any dip in consistency (natural for their age) then they would be looking over their shoulders.

This is an England team who struggle to get Grealish and Foden in the same 11, and as already mentioned are good enough to discard Rashford and Sancho.

Like Pickford, you sense that same loyalty would be shown to Maguire and Stones who both had good Euros.

One though is constantly being blamed for Man United’s failings; the other isn’t a guaranteed starter at the Etihad.

Mings has been the stand in for either but Ben White’s ability on the ball and willingness to step into midfield makes him the only alternative to Stones.

If the Gunners return to the Champions League, it will be just as much about our defence as our attack. Our manager has prioritised fixing us defensively, so while offensively we have the least goals out of the top 7, only 3 teams in the division have conceded more.

Stats that you wouldn’t normally associate with Arsenal.

Thanks to his partnership with Gabriel, White has played a huge part in that.

So if White is playing in Europe, he’s an obvious threat to Maguire and Stones.

He’s too similar to play alongside Stones but could in a back three.

Ramsdale’s return date is yet to be confirmed. Saka will miss the next 2 fixtures for his country, Smith Rowe will possibly play in one, but if all are health and safe, expect all 4 Gooners representing England in Qatar

Dan Smith

Tags England


        1. My pleasure
          It takes people like you to keep us in check and ensure we don’t get carried away with ourselves
          I still think we will bag 4th spot
          Onwards and upwards

  1. I expect all four to represent England at Qatar, Smith Rowe would be the one at most risk.

    The main factorsI look at is that all four get better every time with each game , and by extension the whole team

    Another is the coach Southgate, he seems to trust the process of talented youngsters coming through.

    So it’s going to take an act of God to deny them.

  2. – Ramsdale : If Everton get relegated and Arsenal clinch the fourth place, Ramsdale would most likely be England’s no 1

    – White : Maguire is always a threat in set-pieces and Stones has proven his consistency in the last two seasons, despite having just recovered from a long-term injury. Whereas Mings is the only left-footed CB in the squad, so White could be the fourth-choice CB

    – Smith-Rowe : There are too many options for the LW and the CAM positions, such as Sterling, Grealish, Mount, Maddison, Barnes, Sancho and Rashford

    – Saka : Foden and him are the only inverted RWs in the squad. Whereas Bowen is currently injured and West Ham would likely finish below us

    1. Omg GAI
      First time In a while I have seen you think we might bag 4th spot
      Welcome back and I much prefer the positive GAI


    1. Jon Fox all genuine fans are normally selfish and that’s normal in the scheme of things.

      We want to see our team members be brave take risk, play for the badge play through the pain barrier, that’s one of the reasons too certain fans want to see Erickson plays again.

      Its really personal achievement for the player and there family, why we support such a call up it’s like a reward after playing and doing so well for us

  4. Jon
    It doesn’t but I am proud to see our guys playing for England
    It also gives me more of an interested to watch.
    If they are picked it means they are doing something right at the club.
    Only worry is picking up injuries which we can ill afford

  5. For Smith Rowe to be on the plane he needs to gain artetas trust more and over come his niggles, he still hasn’t claimed a position let alone a starting place. His competition is of the highest quality, Sterling, Grealish, Foden, Sancho, Rashford, Saka, Mount and possibly Bowen so with ESR that is 8 of which only 6 or 7 will get the nod.

    White has a fair bit to do as well, especially in the air, though at the top international level it’s more about pace and ability on the ball which puts him above most centre backs, his ability to play right back might help him. Southgate will only take 5 centre backs and I cannot see him leaving out Maguire, Stones, Coady, Mings, that means white is competing with Walker, Tomori, Guehi for the final place.

    I think Ramsdale and Saka are on the plane.

    On the plane
    GK – Pickford, Ramsey
    (plus one from Pope, Henderson, Johnstone, Forster)

    CB – Maguire, Stones, Coady, Mings
    (plus one from Walker, White, Tomori, Guehi, Dier)

    RWB – Alexander-Arnold, James
    LWB – Shaw (plus one from Trippier, Chilwell, Mitchell)

    CM – Rice, Phillips, Bellingham, (one from Henderson, Gallagher, Ward-Prowse)

    Forwards – Sterling, Saka, Foden, Mount, Grealish, Kane, Abraham (plus one from SmithRowe, Rashford, Sancho, Bowen, Watkins, Calvert-Lewin)

    That means 19 players are on the plane there is room for 4 more.
    1 keeper from 4.
    1 left back from 3
    2 outfield players from the remaining 13

    At least that is how it is now, I cannot see anymore players forcing their way ahead of those 40.

    I think Southgate will choose Pope, Walker, Chillwell and Rashford for his final 4 places

  6. I would like to see Southgate name bigger squads, say like 40 players, So that all the players can bond.

    Then if a player gets called in at the last minute, he is already part of the squad.

  7. I think of the 4, Ramsdale, Saka and White have the best chance of making it to the World Cup. ESR is no doubt extremely talented and hard working but the competition in his position is immense. I think its a matter of pride for any player to represent his country and every player tries his best to get into the national team. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity and I fail to understand how some fans dont want to see their club players in the national squad, its a matter of pride for not only the player himself but also the fans.

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