Southgate Explains Alexander-Arnold And Maguire’s Decisions. Gareth Southgate has provided an explanation for his unexpected defensive lineup in England’s draw with Germany. On Monday, the Three Lions and Germany played to a 3-3 draw. The hosts tied the game after Die Mannschaft took a 2-0 lead.
Trent-Alexander Arnold and Reece James alternated playing down the middle, with Harry Maguire and Eric Dier starting at left-back.
Arnold’s recent slump in performance has raised serious concerns about whether or not he will continue to play for England during the World Cup. Southgate claimed that the decision just serves to highlight the fierce rivalry for the full-back positions.
Speaking to Channel 4, the England manager said: “It’s nothing to do with the World Cup.
“We have four right-backs with exceptional quality. Kieran Trippier is playing exceptionally well and Reece James has been one of the outstanding players in the league.
“We know Trent is a very, very good footballer and that’s why we picked him in the squad.”
Despite Maguire’s recent performance at Manchester United, Southgate has kept him in the England starting eleven. The 29-year-old put on yet another lacklustre performance against Germany, handing up a penalty that led to Germany’s opening goal.
“It is hard to tell from the side,” Southgate said. “It is the giving away of possession that is the problem, but looks, as a group, they have really come together this week. It has been a tough period for the team but they have grown.
“To an extent, we are always going to face pressure so we need to be exposed to pressure. We played a friendly against Ivory Coast in March and they went to ten men and it became a non-event and we learnt nothing. This week we’ve learnt a huge amount. They’ve had to step forward and come together – it will benefit us in the long run.”