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.
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