The World Cup is just around the corner and we’ve all wondered what England’s team would look like with Neil Warnock in charge. Haven’t we?!
Thankfully, we needn’t wonder any longer…
The veteran manager was a guest on talkSPORT Breakfast and was asked about the challenge that Gareth Southgate faces as he prepares the Three Lions for the World Cup in Qatar.
England have plenty of quality in their ranks, but with high expectations going into the competition it’s vital that Southgate’s side has the right mix of quality and leadership as they look to handle the high-pressure situation that awaits them.
Warnock had a go at picking his England XI and while many of the usual suspects were selected as part of the team, there were one or two surprising selections from the former Crystal Palace, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United boss.
His starting XI would feature Newcastle’s Dan Burn at left-back, Arsenal’s Ben White at centre-back, while Joe Gomez gets the nod at centre-back after his return to fitness and form with Liverpool.
Manchester City playmaker Phil Foden gets the nod as one of the three attackers, in place of Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Sports Breakfast, Warnock said: “Definitely Jordan Pickford [in goal], are we all in agreement with that?
“I think there will be a few surprises with the injuries. I like Ben White and I like Dan Burn, I’d probably have them two in a back four.
“Why not, he’s got nothing to lose that. He probably won’t do that. I didn’t know him [Dan Burn] before Brighton.
“It wouldn’t worry me if White and Burn played full-back and they probably won’t be in the squad, let alone playing, but you’ve asked me for mine, not what Gareth would pick. He’ll pick [Ben] Chilwell and [Kieran] Trippier and go three centre-halves, I just hope that his loyalty doesn’t let him down.
“I’d have a [Joe] Gomez and a John Stones at the back for a bit of pace in there, to hell with the five at the back!
“I’d go [Jude] Bellingham and [Declan] Rice anchoring, I’d have Mason Mount in because there’s goals in him now that he’s firing. He’s another one who needs love but I love watching him. Something could happen every time he gets the ball.
“Then I’d have Kane up front, obviously. Sterling is reliable and will create things so I’d have him on one side and then the biggest decision would be [Bukayo] Saka or [Phil] Foden.
“I says Saka because I love watching him, but Foden takes some beating. He’s a hell of a player, isn’t he?
“I just love him. I love these big lads that kick him and he just stands up, looks at them and gets on with it. I think ‘well done, son’. I love him, me, so I’d have him.”
Responding to Alan Brazil saying that he’s leaving some good players out, Warnock said: “Yeah, but they’re going to be on the bench.
“We talked about impact players and we talked about James Maddison. I’d take Maddison only because I think that he can win a game and you need someone who can come on and change a game.
“Jack Grealish, another one who can win a game, but you wouldn’t start him because I think that Foden is more reliable.”