England interim manager Gareth Southgate has named a 25-man squad for Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Scotland and next week’s friendly against Spain.
There are recalls for Bournemouth’s Jack Wilshere and Tottenham’s Harry Kane, with the latter starting his first game since September 18 in Spurs’ 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Sunday, and netting the crucial equaliser for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Liverpool duo Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are also back after injuries ruled them out of Southgate’s first two matches – a 2-0 win over Malta followed by an unconvincing 0-0 draw in Slovenia.
Raheem Sterling also returns to the fold after injury, but there is no place for Everton’s Ross Barkley and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as the injured Dele Alli and Chris Smalling.
After two uninspiring performances in his first two games, interim boss Southgate will be hoping for better over the next week or so, as these are his last two games to prove he is worthy of the permanent role.
However, based on the squad he has selected, many fans on Twitter aren’t holding out much hope, with many taking to social media to voice their disapproval…
Not picked for England:
Defoe 6 goals
Austin 5 goals
Antonio 5 goals
Picked for England:
— Sam Chapman (@chappy103) November 7, 2016
Kane, Sturridge and Vardy all getting in the England squad sums it up, not one of them is in form
What a joke the England squad is. Some players in top form for premier league "non big teams" yet they miss out as usual to big team duds
— Graeme Jennings (@Therealgjj) November 7, 2016
I know no one cares anymore but that England squad is appalling
— Joe Evans (@JoePedroEvans) November 7, 2016
Many were baffled that Southampton’s Charlie Austin didn’t make the squad, with one rightly pointing out that the Saints forward has scored more goals than Kane, Daniel Sturridge, and Jamie Vardy so far this season…
Once again how has Charlie Austin been left out the England squad?! A striker who is scoring goals what more do they want?!
— Bradley Talbot (@BradTalbot1993) November 7, 2016
The omission of Charlie Austin is ridiculous. The England squad is a joke. Too many players picked on their name alone. Embarrassing.
— Russell (@Cast_N0_Shadow) November 6, 2016
Charlie Austin has scored more goals than Vardy and Kane and Sturridge so far this season and still doesn't get a call up. #EnglandSquad
— Jonathan Turnock (@jw_turnock) November 6, 2016
Some were disappointed with the manager Southgate, who doesn’t seem to be living up to his belief that he will pick players in form…
I despair with the England squad selection. Hodgson wasn't great and I'm not sure Southgate is any better. #WCQ2018
— Peter Morris (@petermorris61) November 6, 2016
Another England squad, another laughable and pathetic selection by another pathetic and laughable "manager". 0% interest guaranteed
— Tom Smith (@TomSmith11_) November 6, 2016
… while some expressed their disappointment that Wilshere, who completed his first 90 minutes since September 2014 in Bournemouth’s draw with Tottenham two weeks ago, made the 25-man squad…
How are players like Antonio, Zaha & Austin not in the England squad!? Wilshire played only 2 full games. Zero goals, zero assists #joke
— Joseph Gregson (@gregson_87) November 6, 2016
— Andy Bantick (@AndyTick) November 6, 2016