Gareth Southgate has officially announced his England squad for the World Cup, and it includes three Newcastle United players.
It is no surprise to see Nick Pope and Kieran Trippier included in the squad. However, question marks had been lingering for months over the possible selection of Callum Wilson.
But Newcastle’s number nine has got himself a place on the plane, and it is exactly what he deserves for his hard work this season.
Wilson suffered setbacks, but has worked incredibly hard to regain fitness. And his form in the Premier League has been brilliant.
The 30-year-old has scored six goals in 10 games this season, and that was enough to convince Southgate to take him to Qatar.
It’s a huge achievement for Wilson, and it’s also a huge achievement for Newcastle United.
Newcastle set for big World Cup presence with England
When Trippier was named in the England squad over the summer, he became the first Newcastle player in a Three Lions squad since Andros Townsend in 2016.
Now we have three players in the squad, and it is the first time a Toon player is going to the World Cup with England since 2006. That was when Michael Owen was a Magpie. Sorry to remind you of that…
But Southgate’s announcement marks another moment in history for Newcastle. The selection of Pope, Trippier and Wilson means it is the first time that three Newcastle players have been in an England World Cup squad since 1998.
That was for the tournament in France, back when Glenn Hoddle was manager. Alan Shearer was captain, and he was also joined by Toon teammates David Batty and Rob Lee. That was a World Cup to forget for England, who lost in the Round of 16 to Argentina.
Southgate will be hoping that his side can do better than that in Qatar, and he may have to rely on three in-form players who ply their trade in the North East of England.
It’s fantastic to see Newcastle players getting international recognition. It’s further evidence of the progress that the club has made over the past 12 months.
Congratulations Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson! Bring it home, lads.