The manager spoke with sound good sense, offering perfectly pitched reasoning for every decision, every close call – to the extent you almost missed the old hysterical jingoism
Know ye by this press conference that we, the FA, consent to the contracting of World Cup squad-ship between our dearly beloved Gareth and his brave 23-man selection. Although obviously not Jack, Joe, Adam or Jonjo who are on this occasion gutted to miss out, but for whom the door is never closed, and all the lads are still very much in the frame going forwards.
There was an unavoidable air of ceremony about Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad camera call on Thursday morning. On a bright, brittle late-spring day Wembley was already hung with its own Cup final bunting before a day that has the feel of a royal wedding in any case, with the usual buttonholes and dignitaries and that air of slightly chintzy national holiday.