The Ben White mystery of his England omission is still not resolved

Reports suggested that Gareth Southgate was contacting Ben White this week to see if the defender was open to an England recall, which suggests his omissions from Three Lion ssquads since the World Cup has been just as much his choice?

The fact that the 25-year-old hasn’t been included for the Euro qualifiers against Malta and Macedonia suggests either that the chat didn’t reach a solution, or journalists were lying and no such conversation took place?

It’s worth stressing that White got married on Sunday, so isn’t going to let this news ruin his week.

I’m fully aware that right back is the one area of the pitch where Southgate is blessed with options. Switching White from centreback to the right has been one of Arteta’s most inspired tactics this season, with the player possessing the intelligence to time when to step into the middle to cover.

Yet it means White now plays in a role where the competition is immense.

Football is about opinions and there’s no disgrace if any manager believes that Kyle Walker and Trippier are ahead of White in the que. Then there’s Reiss James as an option when he regains fitness.

Being English, what frustrates me about my national boss is he chooses when and what he wants to be consistent about.

I understand the 52-year-old doesn’t have the luxury of lots of talent playing for every club in the topflight. A criterion of only picking individuals who play every week doesn’t exist in the Prem, hence why he feels the need to keep faith with Maguire and Phillips.

Yet the reasoning for picking Dunk and Mings are that he can’t ignore the campaigns their clubs have had.

White features every week for a side who for the majority of the season were top of the table!

A few months ago, he chose to ignore White’s versatility, claiming he had to now be compared to other full backs.

Yet Alexander Arnold has been recalled because of his ability to start at right back, but when in possession step into midfield.

This is the fashionable system at the moment where your defenders alter positions, something White is one of the best at.

Southgate in his press conference mentioned how the door is still open for Toney when he returns in January, and how the striker should have more support.

You’re defending one player who openly broke clear rules and isn’t an option for 8 months but zero explanation why you’re ignoring the first choice right back to the League’s runner up.

The rumours in Qatar were the ‘personal reasons ‘ for leaving early was a combination of a row with Steve Holland and struggling to fit in with the rest of the camp.

With his laid-back demeanour, his acknowledgment that he doesn’t love football he just happens to be good at the sport, I can see how White can come across.

It increasingly seems likely that he might have to wait for a managerial change to add to his 4 caps.

He has a character where he might take this all in his stride and prefer to play where he’s appreciated.

That certainly is in North London where (whisper it quietly), he’s been my Gunner of the season.

He doesn’t get the fanfare of a Saka or an Odegaard, but in the run in he was one of the few to maintain his standards.

I can’t say the same for his performance against Brighton, but he’s allowed one poor afternoon.

So White, Southgate might not want you but for the majority of Gooners, your good enough for us.

Dan Smith

Tags ben white England call-up


Add a Comment
  1. Southgate had better play with 3-2-4-1 formation, because the English players from the two best EPL teams this season have been playing with that formation when they have the ball:

    ……………….…… Ramsdale
    ……… White ….. Dunk ….. Shaw
    ……….…..… Stones …..… Rice
    Saka . Maddison . Bellingham . Grealish
    …………………………. Kane

  2. Arsenal have made a bid of £70 million for Rice yesterday evening. Although West ham will push for more money and try and start a bidding war, it will always boil down to the players preference for such club he wants to join. With only a year left on his contract with no intention to extend it, West ham would be foolish not to accept because Rice would be happier to see out his remaining contract and leave for free to get higher wages from Arsenal next year.

  3. I think it’s pretty simple what happened at the World Cup, Southgate is a below average coach who also happens to pick below average players who are his favourites no matter the player form dictates. I can picture Ben White calling him and his staff out on that in his typical stoic laid back behaviour and getting punished for it.

  4. Not a massive fan of White. He isn’t a RB, this season has proved that and he is not my type of CB. He isnt strong enough, not particularly good in the air and doesn’t dominate.

  5. Southgate is a clueless manager with some of the best players in the world and still manages to mess it up, sticks with his favourites, and goes back on his word about playing players who are starting games and on good form. The man is a joke and should have walked after the WC, more interested in making crap statements, this man is a serial loser with no concept of attacking positive football

  6. I would say that the reason Ben White left the World Cup squad won’t be known until Ben retires and writes an autobiography.

    As for Southgate and Arteta having their favourites, all managers do.

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