First Southgate, taking over from the shamed Sam Allardyce, engineered a modest 2-0 home win against Malta, and then the Three Lions scrapped out a dull 0-0 draw with Slovenia.
After a summer of turmoil and tactical ineptitude, the FA chose Southgate as a temporary replacement for Allardyce due to his dependability and in the hope he would add some assurances to the England first team setup.
However, the start has been less than spectacular and it could be argued England are taking massive steps backwards after the dismal showing in the European Championships. Stability is needed; hence why Southgate should consider reverting back to some tried and tested defensive players as well as a young Toffee who is yet to reach his potential.
England have looked at sixes and sevens at the back. The likes of Everton captain Phil Jagielka should be considered to partner ex-Toffee John Stones, and Leighton Baines needs to be recalled to the England setup. If it wasn’t for Joe Hart against Slovenia, England’s night in Stozice could’ve been a lot worse.
Another factor to consider in the upcoming World Cup Qualifier is that England will be playing old foes Scotland. Jagielka and Baines would add experience to the ranks, and ultimately replacing the error prone Gary Cahill is well overdue – that’s if the Everton captain can stay fit up until the fixture on the 11th November.
Additionally bringing in the under utilised Ross Barkley could cause the Scots serious problems. In the Euros and against Malta and Slovenia, England looked far too predictable, bereft of ideas at times. Though still painfully short of his actual potential, his creativity on the ball is needed on the international stage. And let’s face it, Scotland have a record of struggling against English creative midfielders such as Paul Gascoigne and Paul Scholes in the past.
What’s also worth noting is this current Everton crop under Ronald Koeman are firing on all cylinders. Betfair have Everton clear favourites to beat Burnley on 22nd October to continue their fine run of form. With Baines, Jagielka and Barkley brimming with confidence it’s the right time to bring them back into the England fold to bolster the ranks. We’ve often spoken of Jagielka’s ability to lead his country, and even though he’s coming to the end of his career, right now he may be just what England need to steady the ship. Along with the creative Barkley and set pieces of Baines, England are crying out for players in form at the minute. The three are also incredibly passionate about representing their country and on recent performances, Southgate needs the three aforementioned Toffees in the squad for the Scotland game.