T here is who in international football, not who is on the team but who is not. There's very little thought about how an XI would work, and a lot of anger at the supposedly shameful treatment of the outsiders, a trend that reached a new nonsense peak last October when England beat the No.1 team in the world, Belgium and most of the post-match chats are still Jack Grealish It was about how to play.
Gareth Southgate's tendency to get involved on Tuesday is so common that it will cut a 33 - temporary squad 26 next week. The only real decisions to be made were the negligence of Eric Dier, Michael Keane, Danny Ings, and Patrick Bamford - and even then, Ollie Watkins' preference for Bamford and Ings came when Aston Villa came to the fore in March. Bench in the World Cup qualification against San Marino.
In this context, waiting before selecting the final cadre can be seen as indecision, but ruthlessness is perhaps an exaggerated quality in leadership. Twelve players joined the squad late as they attended this week's European finals, while Harry Maguire and Calvin Phillips had ankle and shoulder problems respectively, Jordan Henderson returns from a groin injury and Grealish returned after a long time. absence with shin complaint. It just needs some cover to make training worthwhile this week.
Capless center defender Bens, White and Godfrey and fourth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale will almost certainly be withdrawn from the game soon. England hastily. It has the potential to have awkward moments next week, but although no one involved uses Kenny G to create a soothing atmosphere, it doesn't look like he'll literally go in La Manga when he smashes a hotel room. Glenn Hoddle said he would not be part of the final team for the 1998 World Cup.
If they have fitness issues, it's definitely better for Southgate to let players always think they're part of their plan than having to call them back from vacation. . Nobody wants to be Trevor Sinclair 2002.
Where there are real discussions, why shouldn't Southgate take the opportunity to evaluate suitability and form as late as possible? The biggest of these discussions is on the right back. Trent Alexander-Arnold, who left the squad in March, 33 but faces a battle with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James to form the final roster.
Alexander-Arnold is undoubtedly a very talented player, but he may not be the right right-back type for Southgate. Talking about his advanced form or defensive qualities in the second half of the season is a bit out of the question: he naturally moves in a relatively forward position, which has contributed to 26 the last three league seasons.
Asking him to work deeper would be to destroy the great power of his game, but playing high means there is an area behind him that opponents can exploit - like Toni, Kroos did very well to Real Madrid in the first half of Liverpool's Champions League defeat. Liverpool can do their best against this problem with its pressure: the problem against Madrid was less targeted than the fact that Kroos had a few seconds to measure his pass.
There is no time available for international managers and the Euro is likely to be characterized by possibly exhausted players - something that has been acknowledged by the increase in squad size - Southgate perhaps could not reach the required level of pressure and so Alexander-Arnold is not three high-quality, less attacking players. It's worth the gamble when the right support is available.
These broad tactical issues are questions that Southgate has hopefully solved by now - so all this flexibility is often admirable, it might be alarming when it moved from the back three to the back four in March. The next few days should be about answering and fine-tuning specific questions about fitness and fitness. About anything more fundamental than that, Britain is probably doomed to whom it chooses.