In the previous edition of the Euros, the squad size was increased from 23 to 26 in order to reduce the risk of teams not having enough players available for certain games due to COVID-19 and quarantine
England players who want to be part of the team that will compete at the European Championship next year in Germany will need to be at the peak of their fitness, manager Gareth Southgate has said.
In the previous edition of the Euros, the squad size was increased from 23 to 26 in order to reduce the risk of teams not having enough players available for certain games due to COVID-19 and quarantine. However, that will not be the case in Euro 2024, with teams allowed to pick 23 players in their squad.
Southgate has had to deal with a number of injury issues in recent times. He has previously picked players carrying injuries for Euro 2020 and 2022 World Cup. However, he has made it clear that he will not be picking any injured players in his Euro 2024 squad.
Physical condition very important: Gareth Southgate
“It makes it a different sort of thought process because you’ve had that leeway in the last couple of tournaments to take players that weren’t going to be fit for the first couple of games, or a bit of cover in a couple of positions that you might or might not have needed. This time, the physical condition of the players is going to be really important, the ability of players to bat out six or seven games,” Southgate said.
“We know, having been to the latter end of two tournaments, the physical demands of that were far greater than we would have known, had we not been through that experience. We know that that’s a huge requirement.
“If you can only take two for each position, then players that are adaptable are helpful, players that can play more than one position are helpful.
“But equally, players that are physically vulnerable we’ve got to think very carefully about. I wouldn’t say all 23 [need to be totally fit], but we can take far fewer gambles than we were able to to the last two tournaments where it was 26,” he added.