Nice squad indeed ! Can't wait to see the first results
Southgate: Youthful Experience
So we touched down at Rimini Federico Fellini International Airport, San Marino and the squad was in a great mood, luckily for us Virgin do not fly to San Marino but we had to go via Bucharest, Romania to get there. I was feeling quite a buzz if I am being honest! Here I was knowing that 4 points would get us into the European Championships and against San Marino we should win.
I had been mulling over the team selection all the way to San Marino and my biggest headache was who to play in goal. I had decided that Jack would get the nod over Joe because in my view he is more of a shot stopper and although we most probably would not need that against the minnows here, with Slovenia coming up, I new that whoever played this match in goal would definitely have to play the next match in goal too.
We got to the hotel and I informed the squad that training would be in one hour and that they had thirty minutes to get there training gear to get the coach to the stadium for training, there was a couple of groans and one of them was Joe Hart and I thought to myself, I know I have made the right decision already!
We got the stadium and I took training for the first time, the weather was great! Not only was it now pissing it down with rain, but the pitch was very heavy and it suited long ball play so what did I do? I made them pass it. I was watching the defence and thought to myself, Scott Dann looks to want this more than the others. Kyle Walker was being very vocal and making sure everyone new what they were doing and Danny Rose was being..... Well Danny Rose, the player you dont want to get into a fight with.
The midfielders I had chosen gave me a bit of a selection dilemma because against San Marino I would definately not need a defensive midfielder so that would mean that Eric Dier would only be selected at centre back and as I do not rate him at centre back it meant that he is out of the reckoning for the time being.
I like Danny Drinkwater! I think his energy is good and he will always give 100% but then so does Mark Noble, and he is the guy that I would describe as Mr. Consistant! I believe that while I am in charge, Mark will have a good England career. I did notice that I had not picked very much experience in the central midfield role though because Alli and Mason had 1 cap between them and Drinkwater and Noble had no caps so it was a gamble for me.
The strikers were interesting because all the media was asking me to pick Kane but I had already said that Grey was going to get one of the starting roles and you could see that both Kane and Vardy wanted the other. The other option I had was to play all three! Yes I would e that brave but not against San Marino!