Another clueless display by Southgate, before, during and after the latest bore fest which say another scraping win, this time against Romania.
Only two and a half players came out the this game with any credit. One was the keeper, Johnstone, who made some excellent saves to keep England in the game. The other one and a half are the pair that are England’s only hope.
Jack Grealish winning fouls and Ward-Prowse taking the free-kicks from those fouls.
Ward-Prowse is only half because, though not alone, he was run past by Romania on a number of occasions. It feels a bit like David Beckham and how the talk used to be that wouldn’t be good if we could just bring him of for set-pieces during games, like an NFL kicker.
But because Southgate picked one of his favourites in the squad and that favourite is injured, Maguire, he’s chosen to replace the injured Alexander-Arnold with a defender, Brighton’s Ben White. All to cover Maguire. So Ward-Prowse sits out and the midfield stays light.
White was also picked because Southgate looked at one of Maguire’s understudies and surely saw a calamity waiting to happen. From the very off against Romania Mings played England into trouble. While White wasn’t that good, he was the only one in a back four that looked a shambles. None of them should feature, Godfrey not picked for the squad, White will be replaced by Stones, Mings by Coady and Shaw played Chilwell into the starting line up.
And will Grealish feature. Who will Southgate not pick instead? Teacher’s pet Mount? Saint Marcus of Rashford? The chosen one Foden? You can’t say anything about him because the Daily Mail once did Sterling? Apparently Grealish takes too many touches. Have the reporters saying this actually watch Sterling play? Did they watch Rashford against Romania?
Rashford took the armband and like Sterling before him and Henderson after it went to his head. Sterling was desperate to score against San Marino when installed as captain. Running into defenders and losing the ball repeatedly. Rashford did exactly the same against Vlad Chiriches and his mates.
The kind of selfish play that sees Harry Kane dropping deep.
But he’s a leader and so is Henderson. Who really showed his leadership skills with his childish display to try and finally score for England. Grabbing the ball from Calvert-Lewin after the Everton player had been taken out by Vlad for another penalty.
Henderson having his spot kick saved, his second missed penalty for England, was the highlight of the game. 59 games. No goals. Hell, even Harry Kane as more assists that Henderson in fewer games.
You just know Southgate is desperate to start Henderson.
I didn’t include Sancho in that list of players that you can’t see Southgate dropping for Grealish. Again he didn’t really turn up for England. He wasn’t helped by the right-back, Godfrey, repeatedly ignoring him in space, for the safer Reece James style back pass – you’d have thought he might have learned from his second touch in international foot, a back pass that almost scored an own goal against Austria. But when he got the ball, Sancho, fell straight into that “I’ve got to beat a player” mode that wrecks forward progress.
People who moan about Grealish making too many touches seem to forget Sterling, Rashford etc. having plenty of space in front of them to run into but then stopping to let the defender get back so they can beat him.
Anyway… maybe with Grealish, England would come up against a ref or VAR that would award that first penalty. The one he “won”. He’s not the answer to all of England’s problems. Neither is Harry Kane.
Said it before… say it again… if England get anywhere in the Euros it’ll be despite Southgate not due to him…