Just under a year ago, Kieran Trippier was on top of the world. He was a starter for England’s World Cup semifinalist team and was coming off of a stretch of very good play. Now, after a season in which even he said he’s been performing below par, Trippier will not be joining his England teammates this summer.
Yesterday, Gareth Southgate trimmed his provisional squad for this summer’s Nations League finals to a 23-man squad, and both Trippier and his Spurs teammate Harry Winks were left out of the side entirely.
Southgate said the decision to leave off Trippier was “as hard a decision as we have had to make”.
”Trippier has had such a big impact, he had such a brilliant World Cup,” said Southgate.
”He has been a really valuable member of our squad and has a great attitude with us, real passion in playing for England, but Trent and Kyle have finished the season so strongly.
”It is a position where we have got real competition for places.”
It’s true. It’s really difficult to justify Trippier’s inclusion when England have two right backs — Manchester City’s Kyle Walker and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold — who are coming off of seasons that were absolutely better. I’m sure it was a tough decision. I also think it was probably the correct one. Even Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka didn’t make this side.
Winksy being left off also makes sense as he’s only now coming back from minor surgery. He could have a role in the Champions League finals but like with the World Cup it looks like injury will keep him out of the England squad for another tournament.
Trippier, for what it’s worth, said he’s been struggling with injury this season but put the blame on himself for not performing as good as he knows he can.
“I have had a lot of groin injuries, I have been struggling with my groins from a number of months now, it has been affecting me, annoying me, but there has been so many games – Saturday, Wednesday, Tuesday – so it has been difficult to do my rehab and properly focus on it, but now I have had the three weeks, the big gap and I have been able to do that and I feel good now.
”It has not helped [my form], obviously with the World Cup in the summer and coming back and playing straight away....the season has gone now, I have to accept the way I have played this season, I know I can play so much better.
”But it’s about accepting it, looking back and reviewing it like I always do after every game. It has happened, the way I have played...one big game left, if I play I can give everything to the team to help us win.”
Trippier will almost assuredly start for Spurs against Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final, in what could be his last match in a Tottenham shirt. He’s been linked with a summer transfer to Napoli.
Southgate’s final roster will still feature Tottenham players: Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, and Danny Rose. The full squad is below.
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland (Stoke), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton).
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Leicester), Danny Rose (Tottenham), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Declan Rice (West Ham).
Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth).