Kieran Trippier: England shouldn’t be afraid to say we can win the World Cup


Trippier is arguably in the best form of his career as a right-back for Newcastle United. Not only has he defended superbly, but he has also created more Premier League chances than any other defender this season.

The 32-year-old doesn’t feel like one of the oldest players in England’s squad, but he’s fair enough to acknowledge that this may be his last chance to win a World Cup.

Reece James was ruled out of Southgate’s squad for Qatar, but Trippier knows the Chelsea star and Trent Alexander-Arnold will still be thriving four years from now – even if he has vowed never to retire to England.

“I’m realistic,” Trippier said. “I know I have to compete against Reece and Trent, who are 22 and 24. I know that. I know I’m 10 years older than her, it makes me sound old.

“I am realistic that the next World Cup is in four years, so I probably won’t be there. I’m not saying I’m retiring, but I have to respect that I’m facing incredible competition, younger players than myself. I will never retire from England until the manager tells me otherwise, I will always give my all when called upon.

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“But I have to respect that I’m up against really good right-backs and they’re also very young. I’ve got to keep performing as long as I can, as high as I can and I’ll never stop.”

Southgate will come under scrutiny in Qatar after drawing criticism in the run-up to the World Cup for a run of six games without a win.

“I give everything for the shirt, wherever I play”

But Trippier gave his unequivocal support to his manager, saying: “We players have to take responsibility for the past few games when the results are not to our liking. But I feel like he’s undervalued for what he’s done since he first arrived so far, how far he’s taken us as a group, to the semi-finals of the World Cup, the final of the Nations League, I don’t I don’t think I was there then, and the European Championship final – I think he definitely deserves more credit. Because I think he’s a brilliant manager – what he and Steve (Netherlands) have done I think is remarkable.

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“I think it’s also respect. All players respect Gareth and Steve, and he respects all players. What I really like about Gareth and I’ve been in this situation before when you’re not playing or when you’re not in a squad he’s always there he’s always there for the players who aren’t playing he’s out every day training with you.

“He makes you feel valued even when you’re not in the starting line-up, so for me that’s the most important thing as a player if I ever get into coaching or management. It’s good. So he’s brilliant with everyone, playing or not playing , and that’s why I have so much respect for him because I’ve been on both sides.”

Trippier is poised to enter the World Cup as Southgate’s first-choice right-back, but is also keen to provide cover on the other flank with Luke Shaw, the only specialist left-back in the squad.

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“I will always be ready when I am called upon,” said Trippier. “In Russia I played every game. At the Euro I didn’t. Gareth asked me to play left back, I played left back. He knows I will always be ready when called up.

“A lot of people might not want a right-footer to play left-back, I totally understand that. But if Gareth says to me, like in the first match of the European Championship, that he wants me to play left-back, then that’s no problem and we have won the match.

“It might be difficult for people to understand, but you have to take into account the opponent you are playing or if he needs me to come on.

“Yes, it’s different cutting inside, but I feel like I have enough experience to know what the person is in front of me – whether it’s Raheem.” [Sterling] or Jack [Grealish] – what they need. I will give everything for the shirt wherever I play, but in the end it’s Gareth’s choice.”