Quick links



Liverpool's Joe Gomez the real winner from England's defensive troubles

Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford of England during a training session at Staplewood on September 09, 2019 in Southampton, England.

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez was an unused substitute for England during their recent qualifiers, as Gareth Southgate opted to start Everton's Michael Keane and Manchester United's Harry Maguire at the heart of his defence.

Joe Gomez, James Maddison and Jesse Lingard train during an England Media Access day at St Georges Park on September 02, 2019 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez would have been watching on from the sidelines as England produced a poor defensive display against Kosovo on Tuesday night, with Everton's Michael Keane being one of the players criticised. 

Whilst Gareth Southgate has a plethora of high-quality attacking players to choose from, the defence, which has Harry Maguire and Everton's Keane at the heart of it, hasn't been able to cut out the mistakes.

Not much has been gained from a defensive standpoint from England during these qualifiers, but a player like Liverpool's Gomez is surely the winner from the displays he is seeing on the pitch because it'll increase his chances of starting for his country now.


Many would agree that Harry Maguire is a shoo-in to start for Southgate, but the question has to be asked as to who plays alongside the Manchester United man?

Given Keane's mistake and woeful display against Kosovo, and England's midfield struggling to give their backline protection, Southgate might well be contemplating making changes for the next round of international fixtures, and someone like Gomez can benefit. 

The Liverpool man is a right-sided centre-back and if he can earn some game time at Anfield then the argument could be made that he should be starting for his country. 

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Joe Gomez of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on August 22, 2019 in Liverpool, England.

There is a packed schedule coming up for the Reds, with Premier League, EFL Cup and European Cup matches to be played by the time the next set of international games come around next month.

That gives someone like Gomez the chance to get more minutes under his belt, and if he does, then there's no doubt he'll prove his worth in what is already a very strong Liverpool defensive line. 

Other players could also potentially replace Keane. If Maguire were be pushed to the right side and Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings, who was also an unused substitute against Kosovo and Bulgaria, could come into the starting fold as a left-sided centre-back. 

Or Southgate could potentially play three at the back and use Wolves defender Conor Coady in his backline - someone he is yet to call-up. 

Either way, whilst Gomez, his teammates, the manager and the fans would have been disappointed with their defensive displays, players such as Gomez will have no doubt have benefited from it because it'll increase their chances of breaking into the starting XI now.   

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Joe Gomez and Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on August 20, 2019 in Liverpool, England.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch