Ferdinand snubs Arsenal stars in preferred England XI for the World Cup

Rio Ferdinand has snubbed the entire Arsenal contingent when naming his ideal England starting XI for the upcoming World Cup, with none of Emile Smith Rowe, Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka or Ben White being selected for his ideal selection.

The trio have all impressed in an England shirt previously, none more-so than Saka who was so untameable for the opposition at Euro 2020 last summer, but he clearly hasn’t done enough for Rio to consider him.

The strangest decision for me comes in defence, with Rio naming three right-backs in a back five, with Kyle Walker named to play centrally between Harry Maguire and Reece James, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luke Shaw named at wing-back. Walker is strong and fast, but he’s not a central defender for me. He likes to get forward and there is no reason why he shouldn’t, especially when he has the pace to get up and down the field also.

Pickford also gets the nod over Aaron Ramsdale, based solely on his performances for England, but I struggle to see that coming through if our star continues with the astonishing form he has been in this season.

It is less of a shock to see Smith Rowe miss the line-up, with Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Phil Foden selected, while Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane make up the remaining slots in the side.

I think there is a lot wrong with this, likely stemming from his insistence on packing the midfield and defence, but even in this formation, I would have Bukayo Saka coming in at wing-back personally. The boy is un-droppable regardless of the formation in place, as is Raheem in an England shirt for me.

You can maybe blame Rio for some bias in naming the likes of Maguire and Luke Shaw when their form at present is diabolical, while selecting Walker comes from his reluctance to drop any of our impressive right-backs.

Can Southgate really continue to overlook Ramsdale? Will Saka prove to be a key player again in the World Cup?


Tags England Rio Ferdinand


  1. It’s for these reasons most Fisher men stick to fishing.

    Am mostly impressed with Southgate over the last sets of UK managers chossen but never really think of it until now.

  2. Speaking purely as an Arsenal fan I am less bothered about whether our young Englishmen represent their country than I am that the World Cup will disrupt the Premier League season

    The work at our Club over the last couple of years has led to a season next term when if we get the right strikers into the squad in the summer we could reasonably expect a serious challenge on the title for the first time in years in my opinion

    The World Cup break in itself could affect that

    Even if our England Internationals don’t make the cut the other half of the team could well be playing and I’m not sure how the break is going to work, how much of a “holiday” players will have when the tournament finishes for example

  3. Banks, Shilton, Clemence, Woods, Seaman, James, Hart, Pickford. I haven’t listed all the England goalkeepers but is the trend towards mediocrity noticeable. Aaron Ramsdale has the potential to be a world class goalkeeper, certainly the best we have had since Seaman. I hope Southgate realises something that Rio Ferdinand hasn’t.

  4. Never the less,the saka position will not occupied because he better than both of foden and stelling

  5. Ferdinand’s bias is meaningless. It’s just a personal opinion that doesn’t bother me. He’s not the England manager and will never be.

    Southgate doesn’t need votes to pick his team. And Ferdinand’s opinion doesn’t count. The records of the players are there for everyone to see. Let our players just continue to give their best at club level and the rest will follow.

  6. As a Gooner who always puts our club andteam before any player and their ambitions, I hope I speak for a number of us when I say I always hope none of our players ever have to represent their country; England , my nation, very much included.

    Extra games equals extra chance of injury and being overplayed, which harm AFC.

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