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Laura Woods keeps it real with honest assessment of Gareth Southgate's 'blind loyalty' to England players

Daniel Marland

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Laura Woods keeps it real with honest assessment of Gareth Southgate's 'blind loyalty' to England players

Laura Woods thinks England manager Gareth Southgate is showing 'blind loyalty' to players like Harry Maguire.

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The defender gave away a penalty during Monday's 3-3 draw with Germany and his name was booed by those inside Wembley prior to kick-off.

Maguire hasn't started Manchester United's last four Premier League games, with manager Erik ten Hag preferring a partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

He still started both of England's games in this international break however and talkSPORT presenter Woods believes it's setting a bad precedent.

"I just find that situation really odd to get my head around, because I find the blind loyalty in players like Harry Maguire..." Woods explained. "We have to judge them on their performances - and last night he made some costly errors and in the Premier League he's not being played.

"For England he comes in and pulls a shirt on. It's not the place to regain your confidence - international football - when you're about to go into a World Cup. You've got to be there already, we don't have another chance now."

The 29-year-old is expected to keep his place at this winter's World Cup in Qatar, despite a lack of playing time at club level.

He gave away a penalty against Germany and also made a mistake in the build-up to the visitors' second goal.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

Southgate was criticised for not playing AC Milan defender Fikayo Tomori in Friday's 1-0 defeat to Italy, given the fact he plays against Italy attackers in Serie A.

Tomori was then left out of the squad altogether for the Germany game. Ivan Toney received his first international call-up for the Nations League ties and didn't play a single minute.

Woods was equally puzzled by that, adding it was the perfect opportunity to see what the Brentford striker can offer.

Image Credit: Alamy
Image Credit: Alamy

She continued: "Looking at it as a whole, you bring Ivan Toney into the situation and put him in front of the media, he tells everyone how excited he is to play.

"He's on the back of all the papers and that's great - then he doesn't even get a look in. What's the point of having him near that squad?"

SPORTbible Stories is the brand-new podcast from the SPORT team at LADbible. The latest episode features a chat with WWE legend Triple H who opens up on his long in-ring career, his rivalry with The Rock during WWE's Attitude Era and Logan Paul's fledgling wrestling career. You can watch the episode here.

Featured Image Credit: talkSPORT & Alamy

Topics: England, Gareth Southgate

Daniel Marland
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