Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were involved in a fierce debate as they picked who they think should make Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad this summer for Euro 2020.
The two locked horns over a number of matters surrounding the team, including if Trent Alexander-Arnold makes the squad and how Jack Grealish fits into the system.
There was also talk over who out of Harry Maguire or Harry Kane would be the bigger loss to Gareth Southgate, if they got injured before the start of the tournament.
Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher argued about England’s Euro 2020 squad
The pair argued if an injury to Harry Maguire or Harry Kane would be England’s biggest blow
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher’s 23-man squad for Euro 2020 – and starting XI against Croatia
Gary Neville: Pickford, Pope, Henderson, Walker, Arnold, Chilwell, Shaw, Stones, Maguire, Mings, Dier, Rice, Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Foden, Ward-Prowse, Kane, Sterling, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Rashford, Greenwood
Starting XI against Croatia: Henderson, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Phillips, Rice, Mount, Sterling, Kane, Rashford
Jamie Carragher: Pickford, Pope, Henderson, Walker, Arnold, Chilwell, Shaw, Stones, Maguire, Mings, Coady, James, Rice, Henderson, Mount, Phillips, Foden, Bellingham, Kane, Sterling, Calvert-Lewin, Grealish, Rashford
Starting XI against Croatia: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Henderson, Rice, Mount, Sterling, Kane, Grealish
Neville argued his case that he believes Maguire would be the ‘biggest blow’ to the England manager’s plans if he was ruled out of the tournament.
He said on Monday Night Football: ‘If you lose Harry Maguire that’s a big problem for Gareth Southgate. I think it’s his biggest problem.
‘If you’re then left with John Stones as your other centre-back and you think you’ve got Stones and (Tyrone) Mings, Stones and (Conor) Coady, Stones and (Eric) Dier I’m not having it.’
When asked by Carragher if Maguire was a bigger loss than Kane, he then added: ‘Harry Kane’s the best player in the squad but in this particular squad if Gareth wants a back-four in the squad and go for a 4-3-3 formation, the only chance of that is keeping Harry Maguire fit.
‘You always have to think if one player gets injured where do I then go to. If Harry Kane gets injured you could go with Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raheem Sterling as a false forward or Phil Foden.
‘There are options England can still win games. But with Maguire the ability to go to a back four is lost and that’s why he’s got a three in back of his mind.
‘I think Declan Rice being injured could be a problem. I’d go Maguire just because of the lack of depth behind him, Kane is the most important player.
‘But the lack of depth behind Maguire as a dominant centre back is nil in my opinion. So Maguire, Kane then Rice are the key players you don’t want to get injured.
‘If Sterling gets injured that would be a blow but Rashford, Greenwood, Sancho, Foden, Grealish can play in that position.’
One key point of discussion was whether Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold should make the team after Southgate omitted him from the most recent squad.
Both men agreed they would include him in the 23, with Carragher putting out a strong case for the youngster.
Both men agreed they would include him in the 23, with Carragher putting out a strong case for the youngster. He said: ‘I want Trent in that position where I think only Kevin De Bruyne is better in world football than him.
‘Whether that’s at wing back, right back, right of midfield 3. Get him in that role on the ball.
‘You (Neville) talk about players who would like to go against Trent like (Ivan) Perisic, (Eden) Hazard or (Kylian) Mbappe. But ask Harry Kane who he’d want on the ball in that area of the field putting crosses in. He’d want Trent there before any other England player.
‘So I think there could be a case that Trent could come from the bench if they need a goal as a midfield player. I’d rather have him on the ball than maybe Ward-Prowse in that position.
‘You’re (Neville) talking about him maybe struggling in one-off games, this is a player who has got to two Champions League finals.
They both agreed Trent Alexander-Arnold should be picked despite his recent omission
‘This is a player that’s played against every top player and won the Champions League. This idea he couldn’t play in one-off games is nonsense.’
Carragher’s comments came after Neville said that he didn’t believe the Liverpool full-back would make the squad after his recent omission.
While he wanted Arnold in the team, he said: ‘I don’t think he (Southgate) will include Arnold. I think leaving him out of the March games are a precursor for leaving him out in the summer.
‘He’s getting everyone used to the fact that this incredible talent is not going to the tournament unless someone gets injured.’
Neville added: ‘So I’m saying to myself in a a one-off game, in a tournament, in a quarter or semi final, I ask who England are going to be playing? They’re going to be playing Germany, Belgium, France, Portugal.
Both Carragher and Neville agreed that Aston Villa star Jack Grealish should make the squad
‘Who he’s going to be playing against? (Eden) Hazard, (Kylian) Mbappe, (Leroy) Sane, (Diogo) Jota and (Cristiano) Ronaldo.
‘Who do they want to play against? (Reece) James, (Kyle) Walker or Trent? They’ll say, I’ll let Trent go forward, he’ll leave space behind.’
Another man up for discussion was Aston Villa star Grealish, following speculation Southgate could drop him.
Carragher said: ‘Grealish is going he has to go I think. What he did playing games before Christmas, against Belgium he was a standout player. He’s a special talent and he’s got to go.
Neville added: ‘If Kane was to get injured you’re playing with different team you need fluidity with likes of Foden and Grealish. The idea of having Grealish in there he’s a match winner, he impressed before Christmas. I’d definitely taken him.’
Carragher and Neville agreed on the majority of the team that should make the championships.
Carragher included Jude Bellingham while Neville opted for Mason Greenwood in his side
In goal they both went with Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Dean Henderson, and they also agreed on Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Maguire and Mings in defence.
They both agreed on Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips and Foden in midfield with Kane, Sterling, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jack Grealish and Rashford as the attacking options.
Where they differed was that Neville also selected Eric Dier, James-Ward Prowse and Mason Greenwood for the team, while Carragher went with Coady, Reece James and Jude Bellingham.
Carragher slammed Neville’s decision to include Dier saying that he ‘hasn’t done quite enough for Tottenham’ this season and has struggled to get in the team recently.
Neville defended his choice of Greenwood, who hasn’t been included in an England squad since he was sent home for breaching coronavirus rules away with the team in Iceland last August.
Neville said: ‘He’s a brilliant finisher, if Kane got injured and you see Calvert-Lewin against a top team with half an hour left, he’s a little erratic
‘I think if England needed a goal I’d bring Greenwood on he’s a better finisher than Rashford, naturally a better finisher than Sterling though not got the same amount of goals and he’s good in tight spaces around the box.
‘He’s different from the other ones. I’d try and work him in the squad if Kane got injured. Greenwood’s the only one who can really finish. I don’t think he’ll get in the squad.
‘When you’ve only got Rashford who plays on the left then Kane and Calvert-Lewin. My concern if Kane gets injured you’ve got two counter-attack type strikers. Greenwood can be that fourth striker who can offer something a little different. Though he hasn’t been in the squad since that incident.’
Carragher also decided to bring a youngster in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham.
Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard made neither pundit’s squad for Euro 2020 this summer
He said: ‘He’s played for Dortmund in the Champions League and he will be a star of the future for England.
‘Ward-Prowse is a good Premier League player but this lad has played at a higher level. They’ve got Henderson, Rice, Phillips and then he’d be a fourth emergency option just to have around, he’s a special talent.’
Some big names were left out of both men’s teams including Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard and Bukayo Saka.
Carragher said: ‘Jadon Sancho has done great things at club level but I’ve never been fully convinced when I’ve watched him play at international level. And with the emergency of Foden and Grealish in attacking positions, someone had to miss out.
‘Saka I wanted him to be in it over Chilwell and he can play that many positions. That can be a strength, I also see it as a weakness. If Shaw got injured would you want him as left-back in the game.
‘I went with the safe option which is Chilwell. Again with Lingard, against Mount, Foden and Grealish, those type of players you had to leave someone out.
For the first game against Croatia, Carragher decided to go with a starting eleven consisting of Pickford, Shaw, Maguire, Stones, Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Rice, Mount, Sterling, Kane and Grealish.
Neville made some changes to his starting line-up including Dean Henderson over Pickford, Walker over Alexander-Arnold, Phillips over Jordan Henderson and Rashford over Grealish.