Arsenal defender Ben White involved in ‘angry exchange’ before England decision | Football

Ben White has asked not be selected for England (Getty)

Arsenal defender Ben White was involved in an ‘angry exchange’ with England assistant Steve Holland during his final stint with the national team, according to reports.

England manager Gareth Southgate revealed on Thursday that White has made it clear that he is unavailable for selection for the national team, with Arsenal’s sporting director, Edu, informing England’s technical director, John McDermott, of the 26-year-old’s decision.

White is yet to give his reason for stepping away from the national side, while Southgate claims he is also in the dark as to why the defender does not want to be included in the squad ahead of England’s Euro 2024 campaign this summer.

According to The Athletic, during the World Cup campaign in Qatar, White and Holland had an ‘angry exchange’ in front of other England players as Holland believed White was not taking on board the information he was given about opposition tactics and training data.

The report adds that Holland also raised the fact that White had admitted he is not interested in football beyond his own career.

England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant manager Steve Holland during training

England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant Steve Holland (Action Images via Reuters)

‘Sitting down and watching a 90-minute game after I’ve trained all day and had four or five meetings about football, the last thing I want to do is watch more football,’ White said in November 2022.

There is no suggestion that White’s exchange with Holland resulted in his decision to leave the England camp during the tournament.

During his press conference on Thursday, Southgate was also keen to stress that Holland does not have an issue with White.

‘He’s clearly playing very well and has been for a long time,’ Southgate said of White.

‘But he’s not the first player who, at certain times, hasn’t wanted to be available for selection. I’ve always tried to protect those players because I always want the door to be left open, even though on lots of those occasions I’m the one who gets it in the neck for not picking them and people don’t know the reasons.

‘There’s no issue between us and there was never any issue with Steve Holland. That has been mentioned in articles and I don’t like that.

‘People can talk about me and I have to accept that things get said that are false, about me. For whatever reason in this role, you have to stomach that.

‘But I’m not prepared for that to happen to a key member of my coaching team. That is not the reason Ben is not available for selection.’

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