England fans have been left utterly bemused by Gareth Southgate's choice to pick Kalvin Phillips in his starting XI against Italy.
Last week, fans couldn't believe that Phillips had been called up to the squad, despite only playing 56 minutes in the Premier League for Manchester City.
His move from Leeds United has not gone according to plan, due to injury and form, and he's not really been part of Pep Guardiola's plans.
He did make it into the World Cup squad for Qatar, and made it onto the pitch for 40 minutes across two games, losing what was previously a guaranteed spot in the manager's starting line up to Jude Bellingham.
His return to City, after the tournament in the Middle East, was met with Guardiola calling him out for the weight he'd gained whilst with the national team.
Rival fans unsurprisingly used it to mock him and he then provided a disaster class as City were eliminated by Southampton from the Carabao Cup.
All of that suggested he wouldn't even be in the squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers with Italy and Ukraine this week, but not only that, he's now starting.
All set to face Italy! 👊 pic.twitter.com/L6lPsqeRvi— England (@England) March 23, 2023
"How you starting Phillips he ain’t played f**k all this season," said one fan.
"Kalvin Phillips, my eyes are bleeding," added a second, not dramatic at all, fan.
"Is this bait?" questioned a third about the decision.
A fourth noted, "So Kalvin Phillips doesn’t start any premier league game this season, then gets a call up by Southgate & starts the first game, f**k my life!"
On the manager, another posted, "Southgate is a f***ing clown. PHILLIPS????"
Not being over exaggerating in the slightest, another queried, "Why Kalvin Phillips? He hasn't even played for like years."
"Hoping Phillips continues his fine club form," joked a seventh.
Coming up with a reason for the midfielder being in the team, one fan quipped, "Phillips?! Must have Southgate's sex tape. You can't tell me otherwise."
And coming up with an alternative, another fan tweeted, "I've played more minutes than Phillips this season. Yet an in form James Ward-Prowse sits at home after playing every single minute of every game and scoring goals."
Aside from Phillips inclusion, there isn't too many surprises in Southgate's first starting line up since being eliminated from the World Cup by France in the quarter finals.
There was some criticism of Harry Maguire starting, due to his lack of games at Manchester United, but there is little other choice in the squad.
Jack Grealish gets the starting position that most likely would have been Marcus Rashford's, but the United forward pulled out of the fixtures with an injury.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter
Topics: Football, Euro 2024, England, Gareth Southgate, Kalvin Phillips, Manchester City