Newcastle Utd News

How Dan Got Burned By Southgate – Opinion


Gareth Southgate’s decision to ignore Dan Burn as a possible squad member for World Cup 2022 has been derided by many, particularly Newcastle United fans who have seen the towering defender put in some fantastic performances this season.

Whether chosen to play at his favoured centre-back position or as a sturdy left-back, Burn has barely put a foot wrong in Newcastle’s impressive defensive performances this season. It is for this reason that supporters, and Burn himself, are disappointed that he was not on the plane to Qatar.

Another reason for disappointment in Southgate’s failure to include Burn is the fact that the England manager has included a collection of centre-backs who have been playing badly this season, or even worse, have not been playing at all!

Eric Dier, Conor Coady, and John Stones have hardly been setting the Premier League alight this season, whilst the much-maligned, Harry Maguire has spent most of the season warming the bench at Old Trafford.

With Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell ruled out, Burn would also have provided cover for the only recognizable left-back, Luke Shaw. With some of England’s lesser World Cup opponents likely to use long ball tactics, the Newcastle man’s size and heading ability would be a huge asset.

So let’s compare the numbers for the defensive performances of the four selected centre-backs and Newcastle’s own, Dan Burn.

When it comes to tackles made, and tackles won, Burn leads the way with 18 and 12 respectively. Dier is next best with 13 and 8, whilst the other three have 50% or less than Burn’s numbers.

When it comes to blocks, Burn and Dier are tied together on 13 attempted and 7 won, whilst Dier (20), is the only player to better Burn’s number of interceptions (15). To put that into context, the next best on the list is Conor Coady with 8.

So, only Eric Dier has come close to performing at the same level as Dan Burn this season. The Newcastle man has helped his team to 3rd in the table with the joint-best record for goals conceded and clean sheets.

It is a travesty that the big man will have to watch the action in Qatar on TV just like the rest of us. Burned by Southgate? I think so.

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