"Another worst-case scenario" - Rio Ferdinand hits out at Gareth Southgate after England squad for World Cup is announced

England Men FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Squad Announcement
Rio Ferdinand hits out at Gareth Southgate after England squad for World Cup is announced

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Gareth Southgate following the announcement of the Three Lions squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Struggling Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire has been named as part of the 26-man side for the upcoming tournament in Qatar.

The defender has been out of form since last campaign and has lost his starting place at Manchester United this season.

However, Southgate has kept his trust in the Manchester United defender despite his struggles.

Ferdinand has blasted the England manager following his squad announcement for the World Cup. He told The Metro:

"I’ve always thought if you’re going to win a tournament, you’ve got to have a good defence. Italy had experience, solid defenders to win the Euros [beating England in the final]. You can go down the years and you can see that."

He added:

"That’s where we’re probably at our weakest now. Even if there weren’t injuries or lack of form, I feel like that was our weakest area anyway. Kyle Walker, our quickest defender, has been out. Maguire, form and injuries. When you’re looking at it, you’re thinking, 'What are we going to do?'"

Ferdinand has insisted that Maguire has been ever-impressive in an England shirt, which is probably why Southgate kept his trust in the 29-year-old.

The Manchester United legend has also claimed that the Three Lions could pay for Southgate's 'blind trust' in the defender. He added:

"Harry hasn’t let England down ever. He’s been phenomenal for England. But his form has gone out the window for Man Utd. He’s not in the team, he’s got an injury as well. Going into a tournament, I couldn’t think of another worst-case scenario."

He added:

"I would be concerned about that. But to be fair to him, Harry hasn’t let Gareth down. So as a manager you’re going to go with what you know, with what you’re comfortable with. But he trusts him. It could be blind trust, I don’t know. But he does trust him."

Maguire has started just four matches in all competitions this season and has made eight total appearances. Erik ten Hag has trusted Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez over the Englishman in defense.

Gareth Southgate's England team selection for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has grabbed headlines

Southgate has snubbed many big names while naming his 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Strikers Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham have both been overlooked, with Callum Wilson getting the nod.

Another big name to have been snubbed is James Ward-Prowse, while Kalvin Phillips has been called up despite coming back from an injury.

AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori has also missed out on a ticket to Qatar despite his impressive showings for the Rossoneri.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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