When Roy Hodgson released his squad for England, it was always going to be cause for debate, regardless of who was chosen. But one noticeable absentee was Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand.
He didn’t even barely miss out on being called up, he was one of the last resorts it seemed. Should Ryan Bertrand be England’s starting left-back?
Ryan Bertrand has had a good season, he has been solid in the back for Southampton in the Premier League. He has two goals and two assists for this season.
His average passing accuracy is 80%. Despite his form of the season, he missed out on being called for England. The ‘one season wonder’ argument is valid for Harry Kane, but not Bertrand: why?
Leighton Baines is the first choice under Roy Hodgson, who also has two goals to his name for the season. But Baines boasts a higher average pass accuracy than Bertrand at 85%.
The Everton defender was included in Hodgson’s 23 man squad for the World Cup, but at 30-years-of-age, he may not be featuring in many more international competitions.
Ryan Bertrand did feature against Italy in Turin, being subbed on to replace Kieran Gibbs. If his current form is justifiable for a call up, then Hodgson has it all wrong. Gibbs has played fewer games than Bertrand, and hasn’t found the back of the net for Arsenal.
Luke Shaw had to withdraw from his England duty due to injury, but he himself is not having a stand-out season. He joined Manchester United in the summer, and has been hit with a fair few injuries throughout the domestic season.
Shaw has made only 13 appearances – half that of Bertrand – and also hasn’t managed to bag a goal for the Reds. Six years separate Bertrand and Shaw; Shaw has plenty of time to play for England.
So, should Bertrand be England’s starting left back?
Based on this season, he should definitely be further up the list than Roy has him. Being overlooked can’t – and shouldn’t – be down to his club. If Fabian Delph can be included, given how Villa’s season is going, then surely so can Bertrand.
By including Ryan Bertrand in the Italy game, hopefully Hodgson is realising the error of his ways.