Updated: Friday, 24th November 2017 @ 8:08am

3,000 and rising: Relaunched e-petition to BAN Manchester United's Tom Cleverley from England squad gathers pace

3,000 and rising: Relaunched e-petition to BAN Manchester United's Tom Cleverley from England squad gathers pace

| By Stefan Mackley

After being thwarted once, a determined England fan has relaunched a petition calling to ban Tom Cleverly from going to the World Cup this summer.

Glenn McConnell, 24, launched the e-petition yesterday, but was initially rejected because of government guidelines on their direct.gov. site, which is unable to be used for commercial issues.

Undeterred, Mr McConnell, from Blackpool, re-submitted the petition to change.org, and had reached more than 2,000 signatures in a matter of hours.

The new petition now has more than 3,000 signatures and rising.

On the petition, Mr McConnell encourages the nation to rally behind his cause. He said: “Tom Cleverley, owner of 13 England caps, has been regularly selected by Roy Hodgson in his squads without possessing any genuine qualities whatsoever.

“We believe in the reputation of this proud footballing nation and that he should be prevented from attending this summer's international showcase.

“Whilst England are considered to disappoint at major tournaments, further embarrassment could be avoided by not having his inept performances undermine the rest team's efforts.”

Much like his team-mates, Cleverley has struggled to recapture the form which saw previous manager Sir Alex Ferguson refer to him as a ‘special player’.

Cleverley has notched up just one goal in 32 games for the club, and has been subjected to much criticism by fans, particularly on Twitter.

He recently spoke out about such criticism, claiming he has been made the ‘scapegoat’ of a struggling side.

It seems plenty of other England fans are lining up to take shot at the United man.

Hankik Shen, from Manchester, said: "Tom Cleverley doesn't deserve to wear an England shirt, a Manchester United shirt, Tom Cleverley does not even deserve to wear shinpads."

One fan, Shaun Babbage didn’t mince his words, stating Tom Cleverley is ‘footballing genocide’.

Even some of his own fans have backed the move to ban him from playing in the World Cup. Josh Deegan, from Manchester signed up to the e-petition and stated why he supported the cause.

“This petition is brutal, but as a Manchester United fan, I completely agree that it would be a crime if Tom is on the plane to Brazil in place of so many other English midfielders who are a lot better qualified.”

Paul Donohue, another Mancunian who signed the petition said: “There are at least seven players, not in the current England Squad, more deserving of a place. He is an awful player.”

The petition has even attracted signatures from as far as Hong Kong. 

Ryu Nishimura said: "Watch some football and you'll know why I'm signing this petition."

Despite the scathing criticism, the 24-year-old was still selected by England manager Roy Hodgson yesterday to face Denmark in a friendly next week, and still has a strong chance of making it to Brazil in the summer.

McConnell told MM that a number of other players should be additions to the team rather than Cleverley, ranging from hotly-tipped Ross Barkely and Adam Lallana to sole cap Joey Barton.

"As an avid armchair football fan, with the amount of United games shown on the TV, I see Cleverley almost as often as he plays," said McConnell.

"He looked a different player at Wigan and I think mediocrity has been rewarded at United.

"It doesn't set a good precedent for our fledgling internationals that a player can be so anonymous at club level, yet be even money to play on the world's biggest stage.

"Of course, there's still time for him to develop but at 24 and with 13 caps under his belt that time is limited. Put it that way and you'd expect something close to the finished article."

Image courtesy of Nike Football, via YouTube, with thanks.