Surely Ben White must now go to the World Cup?

While Pep Guardiola has stressed an operation does not necessarily rule out Kyle Walker going to the World Cup, the full-back will be aware Southgate has so many options for the role. It’s one position where his national boss doesn’t need to take any gambles on in terms of fitness.

If anything, it saves the Three Lion’s Boss a headache.

At the last Euros there was so much debate who should be England’s first choice right back (in the end all four were taken, with it insisted that each tactically offered something different depending on the fixture (Arnold eventually withdrew with injury).

Walker wouldn’t have been playing in his preferred role, anyway, playing as a right sided centreback in a three.

To me a right back in the middle is Southgate over complicating things, having a player who can defend because you don’t trust playing a 2, but also able to join in attacks when convenient.

That’s fine when you play for Man City who dominate possession but is pointless when you are a conservative side.

It seems to me more of a way to squeeze as many right backs into your team as possible.

Playing three CB is a big decision for the English, given it means sacrificing one of their many great offensive talents.

Southgate wants a three because he doesn’t think he has strong enough options to play a back 4.

Yet if you’re going to play a back three, then play a proper back three.

He could play Reiss James as the third centre back with Trippier or Arnold on the wing but again that seems fear out of actually leaving out one of the high-profile defenders.

I’m not sure if the England boss was at the Emirates on Sunday?

At the very least he would have been watching on TV.

While I can understand it’s not ideal to be changing ideas less than 6 weeks before a tournament in Qatar begins, this weekend was one of those unique games where it’s impossible to ignore.

Arsenal targeted Liverpool’s right side, both our goals coming from Arnold’s poor positioning and reading of the game.

It should be pointed out that Martinelli was sensational, but now is not the time you want to be subbed at half time based on your defensive limitations. The public line was it was a niggle, yet you sense that was to save face?

It was the worse match for that to happen, given a rival for that spot was solid.

White’s game intelligence is incredible, knowing where to be, how to switch positions.

His timing is perfection, getting in crucial blocks and headers. His leadership qualities are developing. He’s fearless, doesn’t get bullied by others, etc.

In terms of someone playing in a back three, few are as qualified as Ben White.

Southgate seems to indicate he wasn’t involved in his last squad because while playing every week, it’s been at right back where he’s already spoilt for options.

That shows a lack of awareness of how Arteta tactically lines up.

Yes, White starts on the right and yes, he can get down the line.

Yet without the ball he has the footballing brain to know when to step into a three.

At Brighton and Leeds, he would start in the middle but step into midfield.

Southgate already wasn’t a fan of Arnold, and this weekend would have justified his beliefs.

Unlike Harry Maguire, the public seem to contradict themselves regarding Arnold’s form, that we should take him regardless of how’s he’s defending.

Every year there is a player who comes out of nowhere and gets on the plane.

A lot can happen in a week …. Walker’s injury, Arnold’s display on the same pitch as White, and suddenly I can’t think of a better candidate to play in a back three for England.

Dan Smith


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  1. Yup. If Southgate’s main formation is a three-CB one, White will be the best option for the right CB role

    Maguire made plenty of mistakes and Arsenal are still number one in EPL. So Southgate will be forced to bring White to World Cup, otherwise the media, the pundits and the fans might criticize him

    But if Southgate decides to change his formation to a two-CB one, I don’t think he’ll include White in his squad

  2. Southgate strikes me as a fairly intelligent man who has been loyal to certain players despite a drop off in their form and in the case of some, a lack of quality.Walker will never be a top class centre back, and the same applies to Coady and Maguire.White is vastly superior to these three, and, along with Tomori of A C. Milan, should be in the pool for the World Cup.If he is not, my thoughts on the intelligence of the England Manager will be wrong.If England are intent on playing a back five set up, the centre backs should be White, Stones(if fit) and Tomori supporter at wing back by James and Chilwell.

  3. The boy doesn’t need to go to the world cup because someone is injured, Ben is good enough to be there. It seems like Arsenal players are being underrated and overlooked by a lot ( national team coaches, pundits, fans and including our own) there’s a general feeling that Arsenal is not good enough. I mean even our best performers are not starters at national level, some are not picked undersevedly so.

    But this has been good for us in a sense there’s a lot we trying to prove.

  4. I am an Arsenal fan but not an England (nor any other national team) fan. I would prefer as few Arsenal players in the world cup squads as possible. They can get a proper rest and do not have to risk injuries. I generally (temporarily) support a national team that has got most Arsenal players.

  5. White is good enough but was unlucky to be injured for the four summer games when Southgate was making a lot of decisions about the World Cup then it did not help his case after he switched to right back for us.

  6. Lately Southgate has made some poor choices. I hope he realises that on form players like Ben White are better choices than lesser players like Maguire and Dier

  7. All I care about is that as few as possible ,preferably none, of our player play in the WC.

    First important reason is because this WC was corruptly awarded by a corrpupt organisation, FIFA, to an even more corrupt country, QATAR.

    Secondly, I want all our players not to get fatigued or injured, by playing at WC.

    I WILL BE SHUNNING AND IGNORING THE WORLD CUP, as I did for the last one in ghastly Russia, except that I will be praying our players do not much play and do NOT get injured.

  8. Any sensible person will know Ben White is a far better palyer then Maguire, if he is serious about winnig the worldcup he has to make hard decisions, Ben White is on form pick him, Ten Hag did it look at his results

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