England Boss: Why I Left Hart & Wilshere Out Of WC Squad
England Boss: Why I Left Joe Hart & Jack Wilshere Out Of 2018 World Cup Squad
England manager Gareth Southgate has explained why he left goalkeeper Joe Hart and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere out of his squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The boss announced the 23-man squad he will be taking to Russia on Wednesday, and it did not include usual Three Lions regulars Wilshere and Hart, who have more than 100 international caps between them.
Southgate has since explained that Hart was left out simply because the goalkeepers he chose were in better form, and that he felt Wilshere did not have the strongest finish to the 2017/18 campaign.
"Of course, it was a difficult call (to leave out Hart)," he told The Guardian.
"He played in most of our qualifying matches, he's been a big part of the England team the last few years and he's a valued member of the squad.
"But in the end, I've got to look at performances over the last 18 months with their clubs, and the three lads we picked were the three best goalkeepers in the league this year.
"I pick players on form and if he's playing well for his club, why wouldn't we select him?
"There's no reason for this to be the end. He has an important career decision this summer and I hope he can be back at his very best.
"Jack has, of course, been in our thoughts. We selected him in March but he hasn't played a game for us.
"He has had a good spell but was maybe not as effective towards the end of the season."
England will begin their World Cup tournament against Tunisia on 18 June, while the other two teams in their group are Panama and Belgium.
Do you think Southgate made the right decision in leaving out Hart and Wilshere? Let us know in the comments section below.