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The real reason Ben White has not been included in the England squad – what really happened with Steve Holland?

Despite being one of the best right-backs in the Premier League this season, Ben White has once again not been included in the England squad.

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Ben White
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Despite being one of Arsenal’s best players this season, defender Ben White has once again not been included in the England squad for the upcoming international break. The likes of Joe Gomez and Ezri Konso have been picked ahead of the Arsenal man.

It didn’t come as a surprise to many that Ben White wasn’t included in Gareth Southgate’s squad. The Arsenal defender hasn’t been picked for his country since leaving the World Cup squad in Qatar early, for which the FA described as ‘personal reasons’.

England manager Gareth Southgate spoke on Ben White’s situation earlier today where he said on form the 26-year-old would clearly be in the squad.

Gareth Southgate: “Look, it’s absolutely the question you should ask. Clearly, on form, I can’t sit here and say he doesn’t deserve to be in. John McDermott had a call from Edu last week to say Ben didn’t want to be considered for England squads at this time.

“That’s a great shame. He’s a player I really like, a player we took to the Euros when he was at Brighton (in 2021), a player we took to the World Cup (2022). I spoke to him, post-Qatar, because I was keen to pick him but there was clearly reticence on his side.

“I don’t know fully why that is, but I have to respect that. The e door is open for him because he’s a good player who can make a difference for England, but he’s not available to us.”

READ MORE: Thierry Henry compares current Arsenal star to football great Dennis Bergkamp.

Ben White

It appears Gareth Southgate isn’t telling the full truth when he said he doesn’t fully know the reason why Ben White doesn’t want to play for his country.


The Athletic have revealed more details on why Ben White was sent home from the England squad in Qatar and why he currently remains absent from the international set-up, despite his great form at club level this season.

According to The Athletic, Ben White had a row with England assistant manager Steve Holland where the Arsenal man was on the receiving end of a verbal dressing-down from Southgate’s right-hand man. The 26-year-old was already finding it difficult to conform to life of international football when Holland turned his anger on him.

At one meeting, Holland did not appear to think White was taking it seriously enough and there was an angry exchange in front of the other players that created a lot of discussion within England’s camp.

Ben White struggled to settle in the England camp’s environment and Steve Holland certainly didn’t help the situation by applying more pressure on the Arsenal defender.

White flew back from Qatar shortly after and has remained out of the England setup ever since. It appears right now, Ben White does not want to be included in the international squad as long as Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland are still there, and you can’t really blame him after the way he was treated in 2022.

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