Chris Sutton accusation that Gareth Southgate’s approach towards Scott Sinclair’s England claims “smacks of arrogance” is significantly wide of the mark.
Sutton claimed that Sinclair should be in the England squad ahead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and while the Liverpool midfielder’s inclusion is questionable Sinclair certainly isn’t the answer.
Although he represented England at youth levels the Celtic winger has yet to be called up to the senior side and Sutton hit out at Southgate over his omission.
“Gareth Southgate’s approach towards Scott Sinclair smacks of arrogance,” he said. “If I was Sinclair, I’d be most unhappy.
“It’s a public slap in the face and it was unnecessary. Actually, it was just downright dismissive towards Scotland.
“If that was an English Premier League player, I’m pretty sure the response would have been along the lines of: ‘I’m aware of him, he’s in my thoughts’.
“It wasn’t to be this time, but if he keeps working hard, we’ll be aware of it'”
Oxlade-Chamberlain has certainly struggled since joining Liverpool, while Sinclair has been in excellent form, but neither should be anywhere near the England set-up.
Sinclair was impressive in the English game with Swansea City, but subsequently failed to make his mark at Manchester City.
Sutton’s backing for the 28-year-old bears all the hallmarks of the clamour to have Gary Hooper included in the squad when he was ripping up the Scottish Premiership.
Whether Sutton likes it or not, knocking over the likes of Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle every week doesn’t warrant consideration when it comes to playing for England.
Southgate was wrong to include Oxlade-Chamberlain, but with the likes of Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, Ross Barkley and even Jack Wilshere to call on in future the England boss has plenty of players with far stronger claims than Sinclair.
Arrogance isn’t something you’d associate with Southgate – if anything he’s too nice to be England boss.
‘I’m aware of him, he’s in my thoughts’? Perhaps Southgate should come out and say ‘I’m aware of him, he’s not in my thoughts’ so everyone knows where they stand?