It is safe to say that the latest international break was somewhat of a nightmare for Joe Gomez. The Reds defender was constantly on the receiving end, dominating the headlines for all the wrong reasons through no fault of his own. According to Arsenal legend Martin Keown, Joe Gomez deserves special status from England.
The Liverpool centre back has struggled for game time under Gareth Southgate. The Three Lions boss has been insisting on finding a partner for the hapless Harry Maguire, giving auditions to Tyrone Mings, John Stones and Michael Keane.
Martin Keown wrote in support of our 22-year-old in the Daily Mail saying, “Who starts at the back alongside Harry Maguire? I’d go with Joe Gomez. Southgate likes to pick players who play regularly for their clubs. Gomez has not been starting as much as he would like for Liverpool, but I’d break that rule for him.”
What RTK has to say
The obvious point to make here is that not picking Joe Gomez for England because he can’t get a game at Liverpool is nonsense.
Jürgen Klopp’s defence is one of the most miserly in Europe. The Reds boast the best centre back in the world; Virgil van Dijk is odds on to be the first defender to win the Ballon d’Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006. To judge Gomez’s ability on the fact that he can’t get into that lineup is naive to say the least.
To take the argument to the extreme: would you not pick Harry Kane if he, much like Gareth Bale, found himself frozen out at Real Madrid? Or is ignoring the best players just reserved for those in Liverpool colours?
Not a single combination that Southgate has tried has worked. Even against the weakest opposition there has been calamitous defending. It is time that Gareth Southgate, and England, swallowed their pride and accepted that Liverpool’s reserves are the best this country has to offer.