Adam Wharton’s England Call-up is a Credit to Palace’s Progression

Adam Wharton has been included in England’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
Adam Wharton has been included in England’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
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Adam Wharton’s England Call-up is a Credit to Palace’s Progression

Adam Wharton has been included in England’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images
Adam Wharton has been included in England’s 33-man provisional squad for Euro 2024. Photograph: Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Adam Wharton could hardly have picked a more difficult Premier League debut at the start of February. With Crystal Palace trailing 1-0 against their arch-rivals Brighton, a knee injury to the captain, Marc Guéhi, forced Roy Hodgson to throw in the 19‑year‑old, who had signed 48 hours earlier from Blackburn.

Brighton doubled their lead within five minutes and seven seconds after Palace kicked off again a moment arrived that must have been replayed in Wharton’s mind countless times. Receiving the ball midway in his own half, he turned and attempted to pass to Tyrick Mitchell but was surprised by Pascal Gross and ended up losing possession.

What a difference a few months make. Wharton is one of four Palace players in Gareth Southgate’s 33- man provisional England squad for Euro 2024, and the midfielder – who turned 20 four days after the 4-1 defeat by Brighton – has become the heartbeat of a team transformed by the new manager, Oliver Glasner.

Palace won five of their final six matches, scoring 20 goals, and Southgate’s assistant, Steve Holland, was at Selhurst Park last Sunday to witness the 5-0 rout of Aston Villa in their final game. Whereas the England call-ups for Henderson, Eberechi Eze and Guéhi caused few ripples, the selection of Wharton is something of a surprise. He made his debut for England Under-21s as a substitute against Luxembourg in March and this tournament had been regarded as coming slightly too early despite his impressive form.

A dearth of experience in central midfield caused by the problems with Jordan Henderson and Kalvin Phillips this season mean England have been forced to search for alternatives. Kobbie Mainoo – who Southgate watched being outplayed by Wharton in Palace’s 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United this month – is expected to be part of the final squad after featuring in friendlies against Brazil and Belgium in March.

It could come down to a straight fight between Wharton and Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, who has yet to win a senior cap but was in the team of the tournament when England Under-21s were crowned European champions last year.

“We need to see some of the younger guys. They’ve had good seasons and we can learn more about them,” said Southgate, a former Palace captain, when asked on Tuesday about his midfield options. “They are the best players at this moment to fulfil the roles that we are talking about.”

Much of the credit for Wharton’s rapid progression must go to Glasner, the Austrian who has implemented an exciting system that relies heavily on Wharton’s metronomic passing ability from deep positions. Not since 1991 when Graham Taylor selected Nigel Martyn, Geoff Thomas, John Salako and Ian Wright for an end‑of‑season tour to Australia and New Zealand have four Palace players been in the same England squad. Mitchell can consider himself unfortunate not to have made it five this time after being capped twice in 2022 and excelling as a left wing‑back since Glasner’s arrival.
Steve Coppell’s Palace had finished third in the old First Division in 1991 but sold Wright to the champions, Arsenal, a few months later and slipped to 10th, before relegation the following season. This time around the chairman, Steve Parish, will be delighted to see the praise being lavished on the club’s excellent recruitment record, all four players having been signed for relatively modest fees.

Henderson, who cost an initial £15m from Manchester United in August, has a strong case to be included in the final 26-man squad by the deadline on 7 June after playing well since being handed his opportunity at Palace because of an injury to another England goalkeeper, Sam Johnstone. Guéhi, the defender who has returned from three months out just in time and proved his versatility by playing in midfield against Villa, will fancy his chances of forcing his way into England’s starting lineup having won nine caps under Southgate and been part of the Under-17 World Cup-winning side along with Phil Foden in 2017.

As for Eze, who ended the season in sparkling form and won his first senior caps last year, making the cut would be particularly poignant. Three years ago, the attacking midfielder discovered he was part of Southgate’s provisional squad for the postponed Euro 2020 immediately after injuring an achilles during a Palace training session and being ruled out for several months. Now he and England’s other Eagles have their opportunity to take flight.

- The Guardian



Macron: Decision to Dissolve Parliament Should Not Spoil Olympics Mood

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a flags ceremony at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a flags ceremony at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
TT

Macron: Decision to Dissolve Parliament Should Not Spoil Olympics Mood

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a flags ceremony at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a flags ceremony at Borgo Egnazia Golf Club San Domenico during the G7 Summit hosted by Italy in Apulia region, on June 13, 2024 in Savelletri. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he did not think his decision to dissolve parliament and call for new parliamentary elections would spoil the mood ahead of next month's Olympic Games.

"French people have no wish for the Olympic Games to not take place," said Macron, speaking at a G7 summit in Italy.

The snap election, called at very short notice by Macron after his centrist alliance was trounced by the far-right National Rally in Sunday's European Parliament ballot, has upended French politics, with parties rushing to field candidates and prepare platforms.

Opinion polls project that Marine Le Pen's RN could, for the first time, top the June 30 and July 7 vote but without enough seats to win an absolute majority and govern on its own.

The RN has been kept out of power for decades by voters mistrustful of the far right and its radical policies, as well as by a decades-old consensus among mainstream parties to join forces against it.
But under the helm of Le Pen and new party leader Jordan Bardella, they have worked to detoxify their image and woo a growing number of voters across the board.