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Maddison rightly rewarded but Maguire over Tomori laughable: Winners & losers from England's World Cup squad announcement

11:57 PM MYT 10/11/2022
Maguire Maddison Tomori Southgate England GFX
England boss Gareth Southgate said he would pick a World Cup squad based on form, which explains James Maddison's selection, but not Harry Maguire's.

So now we know! Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad has finally been revealed.

As always, there are plenty of names included that have generated widespread debate, while others who have been left behind will justifiably be feeling quite hard done by at missing out.

So, who are the big winners and losers from the England squad that will be travelling to Qatar?

GOAL takes a look below...

  • James Maddison Leicester 2022-23

    WINNER: James Maddison

    There is no doubt that Maddison deserved to be in the England squad. A quick look at his numbers over the past 18 months tells you all you needed to know.

    Since August 2020, he tops the charts when it comes to goal contributions (30) from English midfielders in the Premier League. He’s ahead of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish.

    And he’s done that in a struggling Leicester City side, which makes his output all the more impressive.

    Yes, there are some question marks over his temperament and how he handles himself off the pitch. His decision to go out to a casino when he had pulled out an England squad through illness in 2019 was certainly ill-advised.

    But players make mistakes. Other players in this England squad have and they haven’t been permanently banished by Gareth Southgate.

    So, it would have been a travesty had he not made it on the plane to Qatar. This is football and you have to be rewarded for your performances in the here and now.

    And right now Maddison is as good as it gets when it comes to English midfielders, so it’s good to see Southgate swallow some of his pride and make the right call.

    Maddison isn’t the answer to England’s prayers. He’s not the wildcard who is suddenly going to come in and win them the World Cup. 

    But the simple fact is that he deserves to be in the 26-man squad. 

  • Tammy Abraham 2022-23

    LOSER: Tammy Abraham

    “Tammy has had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time.” That was Gareth Southgate’s explanation for leaving the Roma striker out of his squad.

    Abraham has undeniably struggled to replicate the goalscoring form he showed during his debut season in Serie A, but his omission still feels harsh.

    The former Chelsea man must have thought he would be going to Qatar given he has been so heavily involved in the England set-up during the last 18 months.

    But the fact he has scored just four times this season, coupled with Wilson's fine form in the Premier League, has clearly worked against him.

    This setback will certainly be a tough one for Abraham to take.

  • Kyle Walker England 2022-23

    WINNER: Kyle Walker

    As soon as he went down injured during the Manchester derby on October 6, Walker would have been fearing for his World Cup chances.

    It looked almost certain he would miss out when he was forced to undergo groin surgery, but remarkably he has recovered in time to make the plane to Qatar.

    Whether he is fit enough to feature straight away remains to be seen, but just the fact he has been included in the squad is a victory for Walker.

    There aren’t many players Southgate would have gambled on, but he trusts Walker implicitly and his ability to play on the right side of the back three has clearly been a major factor in the manager’s decision.

    Walker’s inclusion is a risk, but it’s one you can understand Southgate taking.

  • Tomori AC Milan 2022-23

    LOSER: Fikayo Tomori

    The fact that Tomori has not made the squad and Harry Maguire has is pretty laughable.

    Maguire may have been an excellent servant to England in the past, but his form has been awful for months now – so much so that he barely gets a look in at Manchester United anymore.

    Quite how Southgate can use a loss of form as the reason for Abraham’s omission from the squad and then turn around and take Maguire over Tomori is anyone’s guess. It just doesn’t stack up.

    Tomori will understandably feel very hard done by and it is tough not to come to the conclusion that the only reason he isn’t going is because he’s playing in Italy, rather than England.

    And that is frankly ridiculous, given how well he has performed for reigning Serie A champions AC Milan.

  • Ben White Arsenal

    WINNER: Ben White

    Like Maddison, White should have been a certainty for the squad. In all honesty, it was ludicrous that his place on the plane was even the subject of some debate.

    With the exception of perhaps Reece James, there has not been a single English defender as impressive as White this season.

    He has started every single Premier League game for Arsenal, who sit top of the table, and has been one of Mikel Arteta’s stand out performers.

    Yes, he has been playing at right-back, but why should that matter? It’s not like he will have forgotten how to play as a centre-back in a short matter of months.

    White is a natural-born footballer. He’s excellent with the ball, calm in possession and has a character and personality which means he is just never fazed.

    His inclusion in the squad could not be more warranted.

  • ward-prowse

    LOSER: James Ward-Prowse 

    Another player who will be feeling sorry for himself right now.

    Ward-Prowse suffered the heartache of missing out on Euro 2020 and now he has had his World Cup dreams crushed as well.

    His form hasn’t been great this season, but he will no doubt look at Gallagher’s inclusion and think he warrants a place more than the Chelsea man, who has hardly been a regular around Southgate’s squad during the past couple of years.

    The bottom line, though, is that this is another big international blow for Ward-Prowse.

  • Conor Gallagher England 2022

    WINNER: Connor Gallagher

    Like Maddison, Gallagher is a surprise inclusion. But the big difference is that Maddison’s performances this season made him almost impossible to ignore. There was a clamour for him to be included.

    Gallagher, meanwhile, has struggled to make any sort of impact back at Chelsea following last season’s impressive loan spell at Crystal Palace.

    He has started just seven games in all competitions and scored just once. So, there weren’t many who were expecting the 22-year-old to get the call.

    Especially when you consider his Chelsea team-mate, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, didn’t make the plane to Qatar despite making 19 appearances for the Blues in all competitions this season.

    James Ward-Prowse will no doubt also look at Gallagher’s inclusion with his eyebrows somewhat raised.

    For Gallagher, though, it is a massive shot in the arm and he will be looking to seize his opportunity to impress in Qatar once the tournament gets underway.

  • Ivan Toney Brentford 2022-23

    LOSER: Ivan Toney 

    The writing seemed on the wall for Toney when he was called up for the last squad and didn’t even get a minute of action.

    He’s been superb for Brentford since they came up to the Premier League and has scored nine goals in 15 games so far this season.

    But that has not proved enough to get him a place on the plane, with Southgate opting instead for Wilson.

    Toney’s inclusion would have been a wonderful story given he was only playing for Peterborough in League One two years ago.

    Nobody could have claimed that he didn’t deserve a spot but, unfortunately for him, Southgate has gone down a different route.

  • Callum Wilson

    WINNER: Callum Wilson

    When the 30-year-old started out this season, the thought of him making a late charge on the World Cup squad seemed nothing more than a pipe dream. But six goals in 10 games for Newcastle has seen him pull off the seemingly impossible.

    Wilson looked way behind Tammy Abraham in the pecking order and even seemed to be behind Ivan Toney.

    Yet his superb form has seen him emerge from the shadows and make a successful eleventh-hour bid for a seat on the plane as the back-up to Harry Kane.

    His inclusion may raise a few eyebrows, but it’s tough to argue that his recent performances for Eddie Howe’s impressive Newcastle side do not justify his selection.