Gareth Southgate announced his first squad as England interim manager on Sunday, having taken over from Sam Allardyce last week.
Former West Ham and Newcastle United boss Allardyce agreed with the FA to leave his post as manager after just 67 days and one match in charge of the national team, following revelations he offered advice on how to get around third-party ownership rules.
Consequently, former Middlesbrough boss Southgate was placed in temporary charge, and one of his first duties was to name a 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.
There were a few surprise inclusions in the squad, with Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard receiving his first senior call-up, as well as recalls for Lingard’s United teammate Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, it was the selection of Stoke City’s Glen Johnson, two years after his last England appearance, which has got the internet talking.
Unsurprisingly, many could not believe the decision…
Really backing Southgate… But Glen Johnson. Really? #England
— Mike Neale (@Mike_E_Neale) October 3, 2016
How is glen Johnson in the England squad hahaha
— ryan cronin (@Rcronin97Ryan) October 3, 2016
Bit late on this one but Glen Johnson in the England squad?
— Chris (@CRWorthing) October 3, 2016
Some compared Johnson to the other options Southgate could have explored, and many of the comparison weren’t overly in favour of the decision to call-up the Stoke man…
How Danny Simpson or Calum Chambers didn't make it into the England squad instead of Glen Johnson, I'll never know.
— Ꮹ (@GhaithD5) October 3, 2016
How has glen Johnson got in the England squad he is in a team that has conceded 16 goals and are 19th surely smith,trippier,ward are better
— james lee (@jlee345) October 2, 2016
Yet some see the logic in selecting an experienced full-back…
Gareth Southgate getting a lot of stick for picking Johnson but with Clyne injured there aren't any better alternatives. #England
— Paul Gregory (@PaulyG15) October 3, 2016
All the fuss about Glen Johnson's selection for England? Surely only a back up to Walker. All other options have no experience.
— Stuart Craig (@bobafett26) October 3, 2016
While a few used the decision as a way to question Southgate’s chances of getting the job permanently…
Gareth Southgate making sure he'll never get the England job full time by selecting Glen Johnson!
— Jon Lloyd (@JonLloyd94) October 3, 2016
After recalling johnson,you already know Southgate is drawing England backwards.
— Abk☆ (@Mc4ck) October 3, 2016
In picking Glen Johnson for the England squad is Gareth Southgate saying to the FA "nope, I don't want the job"…
— Toxic Web (@Toxic_Web) October 3, 2016