headache in England after Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire were removed from the squad – –

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headache in England after Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire were removed from the squad – –


UEFA’s decision to increase the squad allocation from 23 to 26 has always been a headache and Gareth Southgate saw it coming.

There was a reason the England boss lobbied against overtime as he knew it involved removing three players from his match squad for each game and was wary of the implications of that dynamic.

He wasn’t the only one – Spain boss Luis Enrique ignored the organizers’ rule change by selecting just 24 players to his squad.

Ben Chilwell (left) and Jadon Sancho (right) were among the first three victims of the UEFA squad rule

Harry Maguire was the third member of England’s 26-man squad to be sent off on match day

Both coaches understood how devastating it would be for the hapless trio. They knew how it could threaten team harmony – or worse, create disharmony.

On Sunday, Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Harry Maguire were the unlucky players. Maguire’s omission was of little consequence, he was never going to be considered for the Croatia clash due to injury.

For Sancho and Chilwell, however, the news would have arrived like a gunshot in the breastbone that they hadn’t seen coming.

Southgate insisted his ax pair took it graciously, saying: ‘Through no fault of theirs we have to make a decision somewhere along the line and whoever we have it with. fact will be a very good player who didn’t deserve that, ”said the England boss.

Decision of who to leave out each game gives Gareth Southgate an extra headache

Decision of who to leave out each game gives Gareth Southgate an extra headache

“There was no problem because of the professionalism with which they took these discussions and the respect they showed for the whole group. “

Still, while Sancho and Chilwell may have accepted the decision, they wouldn’t be human if it hadn’t been for an internal storm.

Chilwell won the Champions League with Chelsea and Sancho remains one of European football’s most sought-after young stars – a likely move to Manchester United is picking up steam.

Regardless of their previous achievements, Sunday’s Euro opening would have been one of the proudest moments of their careers. Loved ones would have been at Wembley; not getting involved at all would have hurt their egos.

On Monday, as if to rub their faces again, both players joined in full training with the substitutes in the 1-0 win over Croatia at Wembley, while those involved from the start remained behind. inside to complete a recovery session.

Who can say that Chilwell and Sancho won’t suffer the same ignominy against Scotland on Friday? Will they take the news so “professionally” if they are left out again? This is certainly another question for Southgate to think about.

Luis Enrique saw the squad size problem coming and only selected 24 players for his Spanish side

Luis Enrique saw the squad size problem coming and only selected 24 players for his Spanish side

The England coach is working hard to ensure harmony within his camp. He will make sure that there is not too long a time lapse between discussions with each player individually, no matter their importance or their profile, during camps. He is also regularly on the phone with members of his squad between two international windows.

Thanks to him, the cliques of clubs that derailed England during tournaments no longer exist.

Trevor Sinclair talks about how difficult it can be to be a team player at a major tournament. Not having benched for England’s opener at the 2002 World Cup in Japan, the former Manchester City and West Ham winger decided to play a game of tennis the day before match two against Argentina.

“I had been at camp for a few weeks but hadn’t played a lot of football,” Sinclair revealed.

“I just ate all the pasta and all the carbs they gave us every day and felt sluggish and lethargic.

Sancho and Chilwell are stars at club level and will have been disappointed with their omission

Sancho and Chilwell are stars at club level and will have been disappointed with their omission

“I hadn’t been involved in the match squad, so what harm could a game of tennis do? I played with Kieron Dyer. It was a hot day but I thought it would be a good workout.

“That was until Sven Goran Eriksson found out. He sent Steve McClar out and took us for a good ol ‘nod.

Sinclair’s story is revealing of what it can be like for fringe players on a bloated summer squad. Boredom and a feeling of isolation can ruin players during a tournament.

Similar challenges will now face players like Chilwell and Sancho. Once Maguire is fit enough for selection, another player will be sidelined.

Through no fault of his own, Southgate must exercise caution to keep the peace.

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