“Surprised” and “shocked” England hero can’t believe Chelsea star’s snub

Speaking as a pundit for the BBC, Wayne Rooney has admitted his confusion about some of the decisions made by Gareth Southgate at (or shortly before) this summer’s Euros.

The former England striker said he was surprised by the call to leave Chelsea left back Ben Chilwell out, despite a desperate lack of fit options in his position:

“I was very surprised and really shocked that Ben Chilwell didn’t get picked – just for the balance of having a left-footed player there,” Rooney said.

He plays at Chelsea and has played well for England in the past. He’s a good left-back – he’s been in tournaments as well – so I was really surprised he wasn’t selected.”

Too late for regrets

We agree that in hindsight, Southgate’s decisions at full back are looking disastrous. Shaw is yet to play a minute, and has only just re-joined training. His alternative is the right footed Kieran Trippier, who didn’t have a great season and is not even playing on his natural side. England’s lack of any attacking force down the left has been a real source of their struggles.

Even a half fit Chilwell (and after a solid end to the season he would likely actually have been fine) would have been a far better option for England than an out of position and out of form Trippier.

In the end it’s just been terrible luck with injuries for Chilwell – as has been the story of his Chelsea career. After having to sit behind Shaw on the bench at Euro 2020, Chilwell was injured for World Cup 2022, and then missed too much of this season to be considered by Southgate – although that is pretty clearly being revealed as a mistake at this point, but one we can understand given the limitations of a small squad at these competitions.

Tags Ben Chilwell

2 Comments

  1. Does England really expect to win trophies with Southgate at the helm? Yes, the managed to back their way into the knockout phase from a group they should have dominated, but between his roster selection, his team selections and his tactics he’s got them playing with one hand tied behind their back. It’s been dull to watch and it’s very difficult to see them winning when they come up against actual competition!

  2. Chilwell has been overrated the past couple of years, and I’m a Chelsea fan. I hope he is sold this summer. I am not surprised by Southgate’s decision.

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