Eddie Howe: Gareth Southgate will ‘disappoint a lot of players’ with England World Cup squad

Eddie Howe has a message for Gareth Southgate ahead of England’s 2022 World Cup squad announcement.

Southgate’s 26-man England squad for Qatar is set to be confirmed at 2pm on Thursday with three Newcastle players in with a realistic chance of a call-up. Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope are set to be in the 26-man squad while Callum Wilson is also in contention of heading to his first World Cup.

The England boss has often favoured tried and tested internationals over players who have been going through strong runs of form at club level. But after attending consecutive United matches, Wilson’s performances will have provided some food for thought.

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The No. 9 grabbed two goals and an assist against Aston Villa last month before grabbing another assist in a 45-minute display at Southampton on Sunday.

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Dan Burn (r) after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on October 29, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

And when asked whether the form and happiness of the English players in Newcastle squad should be taken into consideration by Southgate when selecting his squad, Howe responded: “I’m not going to start telling Gareth what he should and should not be doing.

"I’ve got a really good relationship with Gareth. He’s done an incredible job as England manager.

"He’s in a difficult position now because he has to pick a squad. Knowing how difficult it is to pick my squad, so I have empathy for him, he’s going to disappoint a lot of players.

"That is a difficult thing to do, because World Cups don’t come around very often. When you’re in the peak of your powers, the next four years you might not be. I will leave the decisions to him.

Gareth Southgate, Manager of England and Steve Clarke, Manager of Scotland look on from the stands prior to the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Newcastle United at Friends Provident St. Mary's Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

“We’re in a good place. Gareth has watched our games and he will have all the knowledge available to him for making his decisions.”

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Newcastle face Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening with the match ending around 16 hours before the England World Cup squad is officially announced on Thursday afternoon.

There is a chance that certain players will find out whether they have earned a place ahead of the official announcement, but it’s not something Howe is taking into consideration when selecting his side to play Palace. “I assume the squad will be announced and everyone will find out as it is announced,” he said. “I have no idea whether anyone will know beforehand. It is not something I can control. I will pick the team tomorrow with the fit players I have and the strongest team to win the game.

"We will have to deal with the emotion and the fall out of the squads as they get announced.

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Howe added: “I want my players to fulfil their own dreams and ambitions and it's such a delicate thing because you know that it's in the hands of the managers at the national team and I know, speaking on behalf of managers, that it's very difficult when you have those decisions to make, you're going to disappoint some people.

"It's a really strange week, not something I've experienced before when we have a World Cup selection during a busy spell of games. I'm sure a lot of the players will be looking at what is going to happen this week. There will be a lot of emotions flying around but hopefully for our respective players, they can get called-up.”