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