England's 2018 World Cup squad: How the public voted
It’s D-Day for Gareth Southgate as the England manager names his squad for the 2018 World Cup later on Wednesday.
For weeks, we’ve been asking you to pick your 23-man squads for Russia using our special tool and approaching 50,000 of you answered the call.
Today, on the morning the squad will be announced by Southgate, we reveal the results of the public vote.
But you still have time to pick your squad for fun and share with your friends ahead of the big reveal from the FA.
There are a few surprises in the defensive ranks with likely call-ups like Ryan Bertrand and Phil Jones missing out – along with Liverpool’s exciting teenage prospect Trent Alexander-Arnold. Based on this selection, Kyle Walker will be used as a wing-back, not a third centre-back, as he and Kieran Tripper are the only right-sided players in the squad. Danny Rose makes the cut - which corresponds with reports this morning. Walker is by far the most popular defensive pick with 96% of the vote.
Danny Rose’s inclusion at the expense of Bertrand is a surprise given his struggles with his fitness this season – while Ashley Young edges out Fabian Delph in the battle of two makeshift defenders from Manchester. Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling are also recalled despite Southgate losing faith in them but they add valuable experience to the centre-back ranks, along with John Stones and Harry Maguire.
Southgate isn’t blessed with extensive riches in the midfield ranks – especially with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain missing the World Cup with injury. As our vote opened well before he suffered his injury blow, the Liverpool star has still been picked by a good number of users. But if we wipe him from consideration then the player to benefit is Crystal Palace’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek – a player Southgate rates highly from his time as England Under-21 manager.
It’s a rough result for Jonjo Shelvey, who has had a strong end to the season for Newcastle. But many votes were cast before he turned up the volume and so he polls lower than Lewis Cook. Adam Lallana is comfortably in despite starting just one Premier League game this season due to injury and with a lack of alternative options, the public are also overlooking Jack Wilshere’s injury record. Sadly for him, Southgate appears to have taken the alternative view. Interestingly, Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard is the most popular midfielder – reflecting an excellent campaign for club and, latterly, country.
The lack of debate over the majority of the attacking line-up is reflected in the fact that over 90% of users all selected Harry Kane (who polled 99%), Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy. The best of the rest was Danny Welbeck, who with 32% of the vote did enough to see off competition from the likes of Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Andy Carroll.
Our journalists picked Dortmund wonderkid Jadon Sancho but there is rather more scepticism in the public at large with the 18-year-old, and Fulham’s 17-year-old sensation Ryan Sessegnon, both polling low. There’s little appetite for a shock pick, then, but there is plenty of experience in these forward options.
WORLD CUP SQUAD AS SELECTED BY THE PUBLIC
- GK: Butland, Pickford, Hart
- DF: Walker, Stones, Rose, Cahill, Maguire, Smalling, Trippier, Young
- MD: Lingard, Dier, Henderson, Wilshere, Lallana, Loftus-Cheek
- FW: Kane, Alli, Sterling, Rashford, Vardy, Welbeck