Joleon Lescott has commented on Harry Maguire and the fact that he is in the World Cup squad. “I think it's key that you have a connection with your [centre-back] partner, I think that definitely helps,” Lescott tells WBD Sport.
“Is it a necessity? I'm trying to think, in 2012 I don't think me and John Terry had played together that much on a regular basis.
We played together every time I think I was in the squad. So it was probably slightly different for him. Because he was then having to go over to the right-hand side.
"I don't think it's just simply down to games he's played or the form he’s in.
I think there's so much more that has to be considered to the squad dynamic.
“There are so many things that factor into all the selection processes. I think the majority of them are simple: There’s quality, you can perform, yes, when picked, but then you’re thinking how does he train and what's he like when he's not selected? Is he still the leader that we expect? And I'm not just talking about Maguire, I'm talking other members of the squad.
But Gareth knows all that as he’s seen it”.
Lescott also spoke about the formation that Southgate will use in Qatar. "Yes you could get away with it [starting with a back four then switching] because I still believe we qualify.
But again, does that mean you get away with it for that and then you lose the first knockout or one of the early knockout stages and everyone is going to be like 'well, you should have done this' “For me personally, I think he will probably go with the formation that you want to play with for the majority of the tournament and I agree with that because I just think it gives players the opportunity to then be exposed to scenarios they're going to face if you're going to play a France, Holland or Portugal etc, and all of a sudden you're receiving the ball in a different area and a scenario where it's totally different to what you've done in the groups.
“It's just a new experience and again, all these players are experienced, all these players are quality.
We know how the scrutiny is, how much it's highlighted differently when it's England. So I think to give the players the best opportunity would be to play the same formation but rotate the personnel, because I do believe that is key”.