Gareth Southgate Unveils Final England Squad Amid Controversial Omissions, Fans Speculate on Luke Littler’s Inclusion

Gareth Southgate Unveils Final England Squad Amid Controversial Omissions, Fans Speculate on Luke Littler’s Inclusion

Gareth Southgate has revealed the final 26-man England squad for the upcoming Euros, sparking both excitement and controversy among fans.

The announcement came after the difficult decision to cut seven players from the preliminary squad, including Tottenham’s James Maddison.

Despite a promising start to the season, Maddison’s form dipped in the latter half, ultimately leading to his exclusion.

Maddison’s Reaction

James Maddison, who is known for his enthusiastic darts-throwing celebration, was visibly disappointed by his omission.

The 27-year-old took to social media to express his feelings, writing, “Devastated doesn’t quite cut it.

Trained well and worked hard all week but if I’m honest with myself, my form for Spurs when coming back from injury in the second half of the season probably wasn’t at the levels I had set which gave Gareth a decision to make.”

Maddison further expressed his surprise, noting his consistent performance during the qualifying campaign for Euro 2024.

He added, “I still thought there would be a space for me in a 26-man squad as I feel I bring something different & had been a mainstay in this whole qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 in Germany but the manager has made the decision and I have to respect that. I’ll be back, I have no doubt.”

Controversial Cameo: Luke Littler

The squad announcement video, posted by the official England account, featured fans, broadcasters, and sports stars, including 17-year-old darts sensation Luke Littler.

Littler’s cameo, where he is seen throwing a dart and swiping the England badge on his shirt, has raised eyebrows among fans.

The unexpected inclusion led to speculation that Littler’s appearance might have originally been intended for James Maddison, given Maddison’s well-known passion for darts.

Fan Reactions

Observant fans quickly took to social media to discuss the video, with many drawing connections between Littler’s feature and Maddison’s omission.

One fan commented, “That Luke Littler part was supposed to be for Maddison, lol. Southgate sees the light in Mainoo.” Another added, “They really put Luke Littler in the video only to cut Maddison out.”

The speculation continued with another fan noting, “I mean I know it’s because Luke Littler is massive at the moment and a United fan but having a darts thing in here when you’ve ditched Maddison.”

A fourth fan suggested that Kobbie Mainoo, who made the final squad, might have been a late addition, stating, “Based on this video, looks like Mainoo instead Maddison was a late call.”

Maddison’s Influence and Littler’s Rise

Maddison’s influence on the England team and his connection to darts are well-documented. Last year, he invited Luke Littler as a special guest to a Tottenham match against Bournemouth.

This association has led to further speculation that Littler’s inclusion in the video might have been a nod to Maddison’s contribution, even though he did not make the final squad.

Southgate’s Decision-Making

Gareth Southgate’s decisions are often scrutinized, and this squad announcement was no exception. The manager had to make tough choices, considering both current form and past contributions.

Maddison’s admission about his recent form likely played a significant role in Southgate’s decision.

Nonetheless, the inclusion of Littler in the announcement video has added an unexpected layer of intrigue to the proceedings.

Looking Ahead

As England prepares for the Euros, the final squad is set, and fans are rallying behind the chosen 26 players.

Despite the controversy surrounding Maddison’s omission and Littler’s cameo, the focus now shifts to the team’s performance on the international stage.

Maddison, ever the professional, wished his teammates well, saying, “Wishing the boys all the luck in the world out in Germany, unbelievable group and lads that I literally call some of my best friends. I genuinely hope football comes home.”

Conclusion: The Road to Euros

Gareth Southgate’s squad announcement has set the stage for an exciting Euro 2024 campaign. With debates and speculations adding to the buildup, fans eagerly await the action to unfold.

As the team heads to Germany, the hope is that England can capitalize on their talent and bring football home..