England ended their Nations League campaign with a 3-3 draw against Germany. It was their best performance of the tournament, which in turn brought to light how poor they had been for the rest of the edition.
The Three Lions ended at the bottom of their group comprising Italy, Germany, and Hungary. They drew three matches, losing the other three to finish with three points.
They have now been relegated to UEFA Nations League B.
England's poor performances in the Nations League has come at a poor time with the World Cup on the horizon. They were beaten by Hungary (X2), Italy and drew against Germany (X2).
The lackluster performances showed that despite having a talented squad at his disposal, Gareth Southgate is unable to get the best out of his players in national colors. One key aspect for the manager is also about who he selects. With so many players competing for the same spot, it's important the manager sticks to merit and does keep any bias or nostalgia in his selection.
Thus, this article will name four players who should not make the England squad for the World Cup.
Kalvin Phillips was handed a call-up to the national team for the UEFA Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany. But the Manchester City midfielder opted out after suffering a shoulder injury which needed surgery.
The Sun reports that the 26-year-old has had successful surgery and could recover in time before the World Cup. However, his lack of game time at club level is a strong reason why he should not make the squad to Qatar.
Phillips has not had enough game time this campaign. He has managed just 14 minutes of action across competitions since joining Manchester City.
Only the best legs should make a World Cup squad, and a player battling for both game time and fitness can hardly be considered as one.
#3 James Ward-Prowse
Another player who should not be with the Three Lions for the Mundial is James Ward Prowse. The Southampton captain was part of England's most recent squad, but didn't get a single minute of action.
A gifted and technical player, Ward-Prowse is a deadball specialist who should beaking the first XI of any national team.
However, the Three Lions setup is made up of other top central midfielders and talented players who can also deliver via set-pieces, which limits his chances of playing.
#2 Kieran Trippier
Southgate is bound to have a selection headache while picking his right-back for the World Cup squad. The English national team boasts some of the best right-backs in football at the moment, namely Kyle Walker, Reece James, Trent Alexander Arnold and Kieran Tripper.
These four afromentioned players will have to battle for a shirt in the England XI. Taking four right-backs to the World Cup will be an overload, meaning the coach will have to sacrifice one top talent at right-back.
Trippier is in good shape for Newcastle and is one of England's most experienced players at the moment. But Walker, Trent and James have more influence in the attacking third and would be a better option for the squad. Walker and James are also defensively better equipped than Trippier.
Gareth Southgate has reiterated why he keeps handing Harry Maguire a place in the national team despite outcry from fans and pundits for him to be axed. The English coach believes the Manchester United centre-back is one of the Three Lions' best options in defence at the moment.
However, Maguire's current form and most-recent performance suggests otherwise. The 29-year-old is erroneous on the pitch due to his lack of confidence. He showed glimpses of that in England's most recent game against Germany, conceding a foul which gifted the opposition a penalty.
He has also been rather poor at club level, which has made Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag relegate him to the bench. If he fails to improve his performances and regain a starters shirt at Manchester United, Maguire should not make the contingent to Qatar.