England legend Stuart Pearce has revealed he felt ‘obliged’ to text Gareth Southgate after watching Kieran Trippier’s masterclass for Newcastle again Chelsea.
Trippier has been instrumental in the Magpies’ extraordinary season and delivered another exceptional performance in the recent 1-0 win over the Blues.
The 32-year-old put fellow Three Lions star Mason Mount in his pocket as the Toon ended the first chunk of the Premier League season in third place.
Despite Reece James missing out and Kyle Walker still recovering from injury in Qatar, England are still blessed with depth at right-back at the 2022 World Cup.
Southgate can choose between Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben White and Trippier for the opener against Iran on Monday.
And Pearce, who won 78 caps for England in defence, was desperate for the Three Lions manager to know just how good Trippier was at St James’ Park in his last domestic game before the World Cup.
“I have to mention Trippier,” Pearce said. “I was at Newcastle vs Chelsea. It was probably the best I’ve ever seen him play.
“I’ve never done this before. I got in my car on the way home, stopped for a coffee, and felt obliged to text Gareth [Southgate] about how well Trippier played.
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“We’re on the verge of a World Cup. We’re a week away. I have no vested interest in getting Trippier in the team.
“He was that good and the performance was that good. There are Kyle Walker injury doubts in that position.
“I thought if Gareth wasn’t at the game, I could be another set of eyes just to say, ‘Wow’.
“I was so impressed with him. His defensive work was brilliant. His covering positions were brilliant. Going forward, he was magnificent.
“His all-round game was exceptional in a brilliant team performance.”
Many expect England to line-up with a flat back-four against Iran and Southgate has used Trippier at left-back in major tournaments before.
The Three Lions boss could also opt for a back-three with Trippier at wing-back on either side.
However, when asked if England would lose some of Trippier’s effectiveness by playing him on the left, Pearce said: “Yes, you do. 100 per cent.
“It doesn’t come naturally to surge down on the outside and get crosses in without breaking stride.
“If I tried to play on the right, you have to find a way of impacting the game by coming inside, like [Joao] Cancelo does at Man City.
“Otherwise, you’re not getting a great deal on the outside. I think Trippier does a reasonable job on the left, but for me, I’d prefer him at right-back.”
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