England blew hot and cold in their 5-3 win over Kosovo, but individual errors from key players must surely improve the international hopes for Newcastle’s star performers.
Harry Maguire may have become the most expensive defender in the game this summer, but his display belied that label last night, as he put in a poor performance, which was rounded off by giving away a penalty.
Is Michael Keane international class? Certainly not, judging from last night’s showing.
Declan Rice is another who flatters to deceive on the international stage. With him switching his allegiance from Ireland to England, it almost seems like Gareth Southgate feels he has an obligation to play him.
But his awful pass gave the ball away and led directly to a Kosovo goal, while Ross Barkley also failed to impress.
With England giving international caps away like confetti nowadays, it is hard to understand why Newcastle’s players are never seemingly considered.
Granted, Sean Longstaff has struggled to get back up to pace this season, but he was allegedly knocking on the England door before he got injured last season.
Isaac Hayden, however, was outstanding in the second half of last season, and has started this campaign in a similar vein.
So he must be due a call-up to the senior squad. And if he got his chance, I would be amazed if he didn’t put in better performances than the midfield group on Tuesday.
Jamaal Lascelles is another player who is unlucky not to have received an invitation to join the squad.
Southgate should realise Newcastle is part of England
For some reason, Newcastle players are often overlooked, and if Hayden was still playing at Arsenal, he would almost certainly be an England regular.
But if players like Rice, Ben Chilwell, Keane, and the like, are given an opportunity, the same must be offered to those wearing black and white every week.
The England squad rarely seems to look this far north, and it is unfair on players in the region, who hold the same international aspirations as their more southern based counterparts.
If you are performing well, you should be considered, regardless of what team it is for. The quicker Southgate recognises that, the better.