Trent dropped, Gordon has to start: F365 tells Southgate his England starting XI vs Slovenia

Jason Soutar
England manger Gareth Southgate should start Anthony Gordon and drop Trent Alexander-Arnold against Slovenia
England manger Gareth Southgate should start Anthony Gordon and drop Trent Alexander-Arnold against Slovenia

There is a big debate about who should start for England after their dismal draw against Denmark, with the Anthony Gordon Clamour off the charts.

In fact, it is so off the charts that everyone at F365 headquarters believes the Newcastle United winger should be brought in from the start against Slovenia on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate has some big decisions to make with so many England fans needing to be convinced of their Euro 2024 credentials. Luckily for him, the experts over at F365 have told him who should start against Slovenia and he would be silly to ignore us. Especially if bringing in Conor Gallagher is his only change.

It is fairly consistent across the board with the occasional rogue shout. It is obvious that Trent Alexander-Arnold must be dropped. It is just as obvious that Gordon must start. Here is what we think…

 

Sarah Winterburn: Minimal change for me. I would just bring Bellingham into that midfield for Trent and bring Gordon in on the left. Kane has thrived most for England when he has had runners beyond him and Gordon would absolutely do that. Let’s lean into pace. But I fear Southgate just brings in Gallagher for Trent.

Sarah’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

 

Matt Stead: England need four things: more midfield control; a better pressing structure; a more effective link to the attack; and obviously Kalvin Phillips.

Two in the middle with Bellingham slightly advanced gives Rice more licence to push forward when necessary and lead that press; he is one of the best in the squad at it. And Gordon provides width, energy and an actual presence on the left. It is particularly harsh to drop Foden as he was better against Denmark, but his presence currently impacts the balance of the team too much.

What Southgate will actually do is Pickford; Walker, Stones, Guehi, Trippier; Rice, Gallagher, Bellingham; Saka, Kane, Foden. I think he’ll boil all or at least most of the problems down to a lack of energy and running and simply fast-track his trademark first substitution. At least then when TAA comes on in the second half it can be with those forwards who actually move and run behind the defence for him to find.

Matt’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Kobbie Mainoo, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

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Dave Tickner: England need to make a strength of their strengths instead of neutralising them to cover perceived weaknesses. With no real option to replace Trippier, a proper left-sided attacker is required, while Kane has always been at his best for club and country when players have been free and able to run beyond him. The way England have used him in these first two games highlights his one weakness – a lack of blistering pace – while minimising the potency of his wide-ranging skillset.

Gordon can be to this team what Sterling and Rashford have been to previous ones, while Rice at 6, Bellingham at 8 and Foden at 10 keeps all England’s best players on the pitch without forcing any of them into an unfamiliar role. Bellingham’s best position may well be at 10. It’s increasingly clear his best position in this team is at 8 where the need is so very much greater and no compelling alternative exists.

Dave’s ‘boringly obvious’ XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Marc Guehi, John Stones, Kieran Trippier; Declan Rice; Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Anthony Gordon.

Ian Watson: Is it possible to give Bellingham and Foden the best chance of thriving while not exposing Rice at the base of England’s midfield? Let’s at least explore the possibility against Slovenia. It’s not nearly defensive enough for Southgate, especially in the knockout stages against the better nations, but there ought to be enough cover in this system for the games that England are expected to take the initiative. If only they would…

Ian’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Declan Rice; Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden; Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Anthony Gordon.

 

Johnny Nic: I’d play Pickford in goal, Walker at right-back, Shaw at left-back if fit, Guehi and Konsa at centre back, Rice and Wharton as DMs with Rice more advanced. Palmer as an advanced midfielder, Gordon with a free role, Bellingham as a 10. That should get us up the pitch.

Johnny’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, Marc Guehi, Ezri Konsa, Joe Gomez (Luke Shaw if fit); Adam Wharton, Declan Rice; Cole Palmer; Jude Bellingham, Anthony Gordon; Ivan Toney.

 

Will Ford’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Luke Shaw (even on one leg); Declan Rice, Adam Wharton; Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! What would be your England starting XI against Slovenia? Join the debate here.

 

Joe Williams’ XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

 

Jason Soutar: Anthony Gordon has to come in and Cole Palmer needs time off the bench at worst. Dropping Phil Foden would be harsh at this stage but he has 60 minutes against Slovenia to prove himself before Palmer gets his chance. There is no doubt that Trent will be dropped and Southgate will likely turn to Gallagher, which David Ornstein has reported is the case. Sigh.

Kieran Trippier hasn’t done too much wrong but one single change doesn’t feel enough. He is the fall guy and Gomez is more defensive so that should arouse Southgate. Saka/Foden and Gordon are fine on set-pieces in the absence of Trippier and Alexander-Arnold.

Jason’s XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Joe Gomez; Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice; Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

 

Lewis Oldham: Gordon needs to come in to offer some much-needed pace and balance on either flank and he’s more likely to combine well on the left with Trippier than Foden. And who needs Kalvin Phillips when we have Kobbie Mainoo literally right there?

Lewis’ XI: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Marc Guehi, Kieran Trippier; Declan Rice, Kobbie Mainoo; Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Anthony Gordon; Harry Kane.

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