Gareth Southgate’s left-back selection for England’s opener against Croatia certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Kieran Tripper, who is traditionally a right-sided defender, started on the left of a back four, whilst Manchester United’s in-form Luke Shaw watched from the bench.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Champions League winning full-back, Ben Chilwell, didn’t even make the matchday squad.
Playing a right-back over two natural left-backs seems unconventional, and the decision attracted some criticism. But, Trippier ended up justifying the selection and his performance has earned him the right to be considered for the starting role again on Friday evening when England play Scotland in the home nations derby.
Chilwell’s certainly entitled to be a little bit upset – after all, he did just win Europe’s top competition playing as a left-sided defender. With that in mind, Ray Parlour has urged Southgate to play a role in helping the 24-year-old stay positive following his omission from the squad.
Speaking exclusively to Gambling.com, Parlour said: “He’s got to pull the likes of Chilwell and Shaw to one side and assure them that there’s still a way into this side, that’s how he can be a really good manager.
“He’s got 26 players but he can only pick 11, so there’s always going to be players missing out and being disappointed but it’s up to the manager to get them over that disappointment.”
But as much as the onus is on the manager to motivate his players, Chilwell also needs to be mindful of the fact that this can happen in football, and how you respond is important.
The summer window is officially open and now the Blues can look to build on European glory and bolster the squad to push for Premier League supremacy.
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“It happens in club football too,” added Parlour. “It’s how you deal with it and how you come back from it that counts.
However, Parlour believes that the Chelsea man has the right work-ethic and commitment to help England if called upon.
“Chilwell will be dying to get out on that pitch and show everyone that he’s good enough, that’s the best attitude to have.”