Stunned Jamie Carragher ‘cannot fathom’ Gareth Southgate’s England XI to face Switzerland as he launches passionate rant

JAMIE CARRAGHER has been left baffled by Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for England’s Euro 2024 crucial quarter-final tie.

The Three Lions face Switzerland this evening in what has shaped up to be their toughest test of the tournament so far.

England boss Gareth Southgate has changed his formation due to the absence of Marc Guehi

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England boss Gareth Southgate has changed his formation due to the absence of Marc GuehiCredit: AFP
Kieran Trippier will start at left back ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold in a makeshift back three

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Kieran Trippier will start at left back ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold in a makeshift back threeCredit: GETTY
Jamie Carragher has been left baffled by Alexander-Arnold's omission from the starting XI

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Jamie Carragher has been left baffled by Alexander-Arnold’s omission from the starting XICredit: SKY SPORTS

Southgate has changed formation for the Dusseldorf dust-up as a result of Marc Guehi’s suspension, opting to switch from 4-2-3-1 to 3-4-3.

Kieran Trippier is expected to continue deputising for Luke Shaw at left back, a decision which has baffled Liverpool legend Carragher.

The Sky Sports pundit said: “Kieran Trippier has done a decent job at left-back.

“He’s picked him over Trent Alexander-Arnold, which I just cannot fathom at all.

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“I mean, that’s not the Liverpool fan in me.”

Carragher, however, agrees with Southgate’s selection of Kyle Walker ahead of Alexander-Arnold at right back.

He said: “For a long time, I’ve always felt it was right that Kyle Walker played right-back for England.

“I thought it was right that Gareth experimented with Trent in midfield because he’s got, obviously, world-class ability on the ball.

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England’s five-point penalty shootout plan

EXPERT football psychologist Professor Geir Jordet has told Gareth Southgate and his players what they can do to give themselves the best chance of victory in any shootouts.

And he has even thrown in a rogue, bold suggestion for the Three Lions manager…

1. START PLANNING LAST YEAR 

“It’s about planning for the opposition’s penalty takers but also ‘how do we win the psychological game against each opponent?’

2. SMART SOUTHGATE LEADERSHIP

“Southgate will have two minutes to influence his players as effectively as possible, show he has a plan and get confidence across.”

3. DICTATE AS A TEAM

“A shootout is really a team performance. Have the goalkeeper walk with the penalty taker into the penalty area to basically create a two-versus-one against the other goalkeeper. Dominate the centre circle, support the players who missed.”

4. ‘BULLETPROOF’ INDIVIDUAL ROUTINES 

“Have really good, individualised and rehearsed pre-shot routines that are bulletproof and polished so they’re more likely to be able to resist the stress and more likely to score.”

5. SHOOT YOUR SHOT  

“Practise the shot itself, trying to simulate penalty shootouts in training. Even recreating 20 per cent of a Euros final penalty shootout is going to have a benefit for your performance.”

AND A JOR DROPPING IDEA…

Jordan Pickford is the No1 but Dean Henderson actually has a far better penalty record – saving 8/22 (36 per cent) compared to Pickford’s 8/62 (13 per cent).

Jordet said: “One could consider making a late substitution for a penalty shootout. I doubt that they dare to do it in case it fails and the pressure is even higher but it would be a very ballsy move.”

“It didn’t quite work and he had to be taken out of the team.

“But the reason that you’d play Trippier over Trent, I just can’t get my head around.

Switzerland fans chant England’s Going Home in huge pre-match march through streets of Dusseldorf

“The only reason would be that Kieran has played maybe a few more games, maybe he trusts him.

“But when you say defensively, the whole point of playing three at the back is to release your wing backs.

“And you’ve got Kyle Walker behind you, he’s the quickest player in the squad to mop up anything if you get caught out defensively.

“So to not put Trent in that position, I cannot believe that one. I must be honest, I can’t.

“I can only imagine where his head is right now in this tournament. But Kieran Trippier is a player who Gareth trusts, he puts him in.

“Whether it be left back, right back, right wing-back, left wing-back, he always seems to find a place for him.

“But I would have played Trent in that position.”

Carragher has immense sympathy for Alexander-Arnold, which comes from being in the 25-year-old’s shoes when he was an England international.

“I do [ feel sorry for him],” he said. “But, listen, I played in the era when there was a lot of great centre-backs.

England’s penalty shootout record

THE dreaded penalty shootout.

England’s nemesis at no fewer than SEVEN major tournaments since 1990, from the West Germany heartache at Italia 90 to Wembley woes on the brink of Euro 2020 final glory.

But two shootout victories before the Italy defeat give some reason for optimism…

  • 1990 World Cup semi-final vs WEST GERMANY, 04/07/1990 – LOST 4-3
  • Euro 1996 quarter-final vs SPAIN, 22/06/1996 – WON 4-2
  • Euro 1996 semi-final vs WEST GERMANY, 26/06/1996 – LOST 6-5
  • Friendly vs BELGIUM, 29/05/1998 – LOST 4-3
  • 1998 World Cup last 16 vs ARGENTINA, 30/06/1998 – LOST 4-3
  • Euro 2004 quarter-final vs PORTUGAL, 24/06/2004 – LOST 6-5
  • 2006 World Cup quarter-final vs PORTUGAL, 01/07/2006 – LOST 3-1
  • Euro 2012 quarter-final vs ITALY, 24/06/2012 – LOST 4-2
  • 2018 World Cup last 16 vs COLOMBIA, 03/07/2018 – WON 4-3
  • vs SWITZERLAND – Nations League third-place play-off, 09/06/2019 – WON 6-5
  • Euro 2020 final vs ITALY, 11/07/2021 – LOST 3-2
  • OVERALL: Played 11, Won 3, Lost 8

“I very rarely played for England and Trent has come through in an era where there was a lot of great right-backs.

“Now, Kyle Walker’s obviously getting older and I think after this tournament, Trent Alexander-Arnold has to be England’s right back, whether that’s in a back four or a back five.

“You have to give him his head because he’s too good of a player.

‘But, Kieran Trippier, as I said, he’s a good player. He hasn’t had a great season at Newcastle. He’s done okay for England.

“He’s done a really solid job at left-back, as well as he could possibly do. But, to play ahead of Trent, I just don’t see that at all.

“Trent has got world-class ability. Kieran Trippier is just a very good player who at times had a difficult season for Newcastle.

“So, yeah, I do feel for him in this one. A lot of people were saying they felt for him in terms of going into midfield and then getting dropped.

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“But, you know, he was given his chance in two games in midfield and he didn’t really produce. Or the rest of the team didn’t produce as well.

“So, I felt, you know, you have to accept that he’s taken out the team. But, this one I think will be a really tough pill to swallow for him.”

Jamie Carragher can't help but feel sorry for Trent Alexander-Arnold

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Jamie Carragher can’t help but feel sorry for Trent Alexander-ArnoldCredit: Getty

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