Gareth Southgate shows ruthless streak by axing stars for England friendlies

• Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chris Smalling among absentees• Under-21 trio will join Southgate’s senior squad for first timeGareth Southgate has warned his England players that nobody should feel safe about their positions after a day of extensive changes that saw him axe Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain from his latest squad as well as potentially ending the international careers of Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe and announcing that Chris Smalling was also out because the Manchester United player was not good enough on the ball.In a series of difficult early morning telephone calls, Southgate dropped a total of seven players on the back of his comments at the previous England get-together that there were people in his squad who had not necessarily justified their inclusions and were lucky to be involved. Continue reading…

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