The wait is over. Gareth Southgate has proffered forth the 23 English men, hale and hearty, who he will be taking to the World Cup in Russia this summer.
We already know that Joe Hart has been passed over while Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been included at the expense of Jack Wilshere. Elsewhere, Ryan Bertrand is another high-profile omission in favour of Ashley Young.
The England squad for the 2018 World Cup squad in full…
Goalkeepers: Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope.
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ashley Young.
Midfielders: Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph.
Forwards: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jamie Vardy, Danny Welbeck.
The stand-by list is as follows: Tom Heaton, James Tarkowski, Lewis Cook, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana.
Here’s what Southgate had to say about his selection at his press conference this afternoon:
I believe this is a squad which we can be excited about.
It is a young group, but with some really important senior players so I feel the balance of the squad is good, both in terms of its experience, its character and also the positional balance.
We have a lot of energy and athleticism in the team, but players that are equally comfortable in possession of the ball and I think people can see the style of play we’ve been looking to develop.
The selection process has been over months really, it’s not just been the last few weeks. We feel the team are improving and we want to continue that momentum.
Pies initial reaction? There’s a decent mix of youth and experience with able cover offered in every position. It’s about as good as it can be – though you’ve got to feel for the likes of Bertrand and Jonjo Shelvey, who must’ve felt they’d played there way to Russia.
Oh well, it’ll all be immaterial when we go out to Poland in the second round anyway.