Simon Jordan has leapt to the defence of England manager Gareth Southgate.
The former Crystal Palace owner has previously been a fierce critic of the Three Lions boss. However, the outspoken pundit has turned defender on this occasion, after Southgate announced his final squad for the upcoming Nations’ League fixtures against Italy and Germany.
Southgate has been criticised for including the likes of Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, while also leaving out Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho. However, Jordan believes the criticism aimed at Southgate is ‘not constructive’ and that all judgements should be reserved until after the World Cup.
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“Criticise and critically observe,” Jordan demanded on talkSPORT. “Bash and deconstruct is probably not constructive, but he has a view and he is going to live and die by those decisions.
“It’s a combination of players who have performed well for him against his inherent belief in them, balanced with where they are currently. So it is difficult to make a case for some of the players he is including because they are not active.
“Notwithstanding, he will look at them as never having let him down in the circumstances they have played in. They will also look at the circumstances surrounding the likes of Manchester City, and the uniqueness of their position, in terms of how well their team is performing.
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“Ultimately, people like Kalvin Phillips not getting an opportunity to break into the starting eleven isn’t the same as, perhaps, other players completely out of form. I just think everything leads to criticising or evaluating Gareth Southgate after a tournament rather than before.”
While many players will be left at home, Southgate has drawn praise from his decision to include Ivan Toney in the squad. The Brentford striker will become, only the third Bees’ player to play for England and the first since Leslie Smith in 1939.
The Three Lions travel to Italy on September 23, before hosting Germany the following Monday. They will be England’s last fixtures until they kick off their World Cup campaign against Qatar on November 21.
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