Gareth Southgate has plenty of food for thought as he considers his World Cup selection following a humiliating end to England’s summer fixtures.
The Three Lions went on a winless run of four Nations League matches in 11 days, which ended with Tuesday’s 4-0 home humbling at the hands of Hungary.
With two September fixtures remaining before the tournament in Qatar gets under way in November, we have analysed how the England World Cup squad is shaping up.
Gareth Southgate looks back on tonight’s defeat at Molineux:pic.twitter.com/ubhHfdsDsV
— England (@England) June 14, 2022
On the plane: Jordan Pickford (Everton) and Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
In the departure lounge: Nick Pope (Burnley)
Hoping for a late ticket: Fraser Forster (Tottenham), Dean Henderson (Manchester United) and Sam Johnstone (West Brom)
Jordan Pickford has been number one since the World Cup in Russia and is sure to be among Southgate’s three goalkeepers, as is Aaron Ramsdale.
The Arsenal goalkeeper followed an impressive season with a solid showing as he won his second cap in the 0-0 draw against Italy.
He will want to forget Tuesday night’s Molineux mauling, which Nick Pope – part of the 2018 World Cup squad and absent from the Euros through injury – watched from the bench.
On the plane: Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
In the departure lounge: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Wolves), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) and Ben White (Arsenal)
Hoping for a late ticket: Eric Dier (Tottenham), James Justin (Leicester), Tyrick Mitchell (Crystal Palace), Ryan Sessegnon (Tottenham), Matt Targett (Newcastle) and Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton)
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has endured a challenging campaign but has always retained the faith of Southgate.
He is all but certain to go the World Cup, as is John Stones despite being sent off for two yellow cards in a poor performance against Hungary.
Reece James and Kyle Walker – a man Southgate this week picked out for his growing leadership – are sure to be there too.
Most would want Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold to join them but he has not quite stamped his place in the England team and Southgate’s appreciation of the versatile Kieran Trippier is well documented.
Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell were sorely missed this month as the left-backs return to fitness and will surely be selected if they start the season strongly.
There are, though, still spots up for grab at the back.
On the plane: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds) and Declan Rice (West Ham)
In the departure lounge: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea) and James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Hoping for a late ticket: Harvey Barnes (Leicester), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), James Maddison (Leicester) and Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
Jordan Henderson was given June off after a mammoth season but the Liverpool captain looks a shoo-in for the World Cup squad if playing regularly, as do trusted lieutenants Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice.
Jude Bellingham, who does not turn 19 until the end of June, has done enough to join them but Southgate has decisions to make about who – if any – complement them as midfield options.
James Ward-Prowse just missed out on the Euro 2020 squad and Conor Gallagher only made one appearance across June’s games.
On the plane: Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
In the departure lounge: Tammy Abraham (Roma)
Hoping for a late ticket: Patrick Bamford (Leeds), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Manchester United), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Callum Wilson (Newcastle)
Record-chasing captain Harry Kane will lead the side to the World Cup, where Euro 2020 star Raheem Sterling will hope to be play an important role once more.
Southgate expressed “concern” about the overreliance on the pair having failed to score a goal from open play this camp.
A very disappointing night for sure but a bit of perspective needed. We’ll take it on the chin and carry on preparation for another big tournament ahead. Time for a break now and come back stronger for what’s coming up. Thanks for all your support this camp. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/h1R5KoHVTn
— Harry Kane (@HKane) June 14, 2022
Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka have put in impressive performances for the Three Lions so look assured of a place in the squad whether it ends up being comprised of 23 or 26 players.
New boy Jarrod Bowen showed flickers of promise this month but needs to do more in September, when Tammy Abraham will hope to get another chance to prove himself as a worthy back-up to Kane.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford have a chance if they start the new season strongly.
View the latest football odds