the dullard Southgate. England’s bore-feast in the Battle of Britain as they struggled to get a draw with the goalless Jocks saw the media in a state of befuddlement, so much that you wonder if they actually watch the games.
A few days earlier the media were claiming Southgate had got everything right about England’s opener against Croatia. After the dullest of dull 90 minutes against the team ranked 44th in the world, third lowest ranked team at the Euros, they were asking what happened.
Well, what happened was Southgate didn’t get it right against Croatia. The Croats never turned up, as they subsequently didn’t for the first half against the Czechs. And England scraped a lucky win. That lucky goal was the only real difference from England in the two matches, while the opposition did turn up on Friday night. Something to do with history and chips on shoulders.
It was the same dull England, just the fullbacks changed, playing the same dull way. And it’s all Harry Kane’s fault, apparently.
In discussing where England are going wrong the media are all pointing the finger at Kane and all showing that they don’t really pay attention to England’s games or the players. They have it in their mind what these players do but it doesn’t actually fit in with what happens on the pitch.
This lot for example. They imagine what they’ve seen. Follow the City blueprint of Sterling and Foden. Well, that blueprint didn’t involve Sterling for large parts of the season. And what exactly has either of them done in the tournament? Neither pass to Kane, which leads to him dropping deep. Both are more interested in personal glory, Sterling especially. I mean in all their games together how many times has Sterling passed the ball to Kane in a good position. Kane tends to fluff balls he gets from Sterling, it can only be due to the shear shock of it happening.
Against Scotland Sterling wasn’t passing to anyone who could take the glory away from him. I mean just look at his reaction to the scuffer against the Croats.
They lump Mount in as well, who again offered nothing assist wise in either game. Ah but he played that ball in the Champions League final. Yes, a ball played through a gap you could have landed a 747 in.
McCoist say the fullbacks have to do more. Well, he’s right but they couldn’t exactly do any less. You get the pundits banging on about James and his crosses. What crosses? He put one in and then Kane had to be offside to even get close to it, what’s the point of that. They don’t mention the reality that nearly 90% of the balls James plays are either backwards or sideways. I sat there watching the game knowing exactly what was going to happen every time he got the ball. “Backwards” was shouted a lot.
Shaw wasn’t any better on the left. For all the good he did you might as well have had the right footed Trippier there. You’d have at least a decent set piece taker then, as Mount was awful. A one man tribute to Christian Eriksen the amount of first defenders he hit.
Someone say play Sancho. Yes, great season but why doesn’t he do the same for England? It can only be the manager. Southgate wants possession, he wants patience, he wants to win the passing. He wants players scared to play a killer ball just in case they lose it.
They say Kane has to stay in and around the box, on the last defender. The same people that are moaning about the lack of touches are saying he should do something that will result in fewer touches because all yours and Gareth’s favourites won’t pass to him you clowns.
Kane needs to trust his team-mates to do the creating and position himself off the shoulder of the last defender.
Trust people that haven’t created anything for him for games, not just these two matches.
The pundits have finally realised that the twin defensive midfielders isn’t working but they all want the one they praised against Croatia dropped. Phillips gone while Rice stays. Rice who offered nothing in either game. He was there to screen the back four against Scotland, yet Adams repeatedly dropped into that space between the defence and midfield, which caused England problems and created the best chances for the jocks, without Rice picking him up. We can do without Rice getting the ball from Stones then passing it back to Mings.
You imagine they spend their time at the games, they get in for free at, ligging and socialising rather than actually watching the what goes on on the pitch.
Jamie Carragher thinks dropping Kane is the answer. He also thinks that picking Henderson is as well. No doubt Southgate will be with him on the latter. You know Henderson who hasn’t got a goal in over 50 matches for England, while providing an assist something like once every 7 games. Yes, that Henderson.
Carragher headed a lot of footballs.
Carragher would replace Kane with Calvert-Lewin. So would I but not the way he would, I’d replace him as the number 9, with Kane playing the 10. The Teddy Sheringham role.
England are at their best with a back three. You need one holding, which would be the Leeds man. You know have a three man midfield, instead of the two man one which was overrun by the Jocks. One creative player in Grealish and one runner in Bellingham. Wing-backs told to face forward and get crosses in. And someone to occupy the defence leaving Kane open.
The defence cover the Everton man then Kane is in space, to create or score. They get distracted by Kane then Calvert-Lewin can run past them.
Southgate of course will do none of this. He’ll play his favourites, the crocked, Henderson and Maguire, will come in, they’ll probably scrape enough to go through, think finishing second gives them an easier run in the knockout stages – as it did at the World Cup – then go out to Germany, who can still put on a show when they need to.