Connect with us

Football

5 things Gareth Southgate needs to fix about England

Published

on


England, one of the so-called favourites to win the 2022 World Cup later this year, are enduring a historically poor run of form which has seen them relegated from their Nations League group with their worst goal drought in 22 years.

Gareth Southgate’s side look nothing like the team that made it to the final of Euro 2020 and they could hardly have picked a worse time to fall into a slump.

Here’s what the boss needs to figure out.

Advertisement
Trent Alexander-Arnold

Alexander-Arnold has been restricted / Ciancaphoto Studio/GettyImages

Southgate has made it abundantly clear that Trent Alexander-Arnold is not his preferred right-back. On current form, that’s not the most contentious decision, but the reality is that the Liverpool star is one of very few players with a genuine eye for a pass.

If Southgate doesn’t want to play Alexander-Arnold (which is fine), he needs a backup plan. A midfield duo of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham is elite in many areas, but creativity isn’t one.

The option of calling up James Maddison is there, but whether Southgate will take it at this point is an entirely different question.

Phil Foden

Foden is struggling to get involved / Giuseppe Cottini/GettyImages

Among Southgate’s regulars, Phil Foden is the closest thing to a creative hub, but the role he actually plays during matches is a mystery.

Advertisement

The 22-year-old has played in a whole host of positions for his country, including in central midfield and on both wings, and he appears to be struggling with a lack of fluidity as a result.

Foden needs to be a focal point of this side, and that means he needs a settled position.

Harry Maguire

England’s setup doesn’t seem to be working / Giuseppe Cottini/GettyImages

England’s three-at-the-back setup was designed to make them tough to beat. It worked in the past but now the entire point of the system has been lost.

The biggest problem these days is a lack of goals and playing with three central defenders obviously doesn’t help that.

Advertisement

Look at the personnel involved and it feels as though England’s stars are being made to fit into Southgate’s system regardless of their natural positions. It’s just not working anymore.

Harry Kane

England are too reliant on Kane / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Let’s just be clear, Harry Kane is one of the best strikers on the planet and deserves to start for England. There’s no debate on that.

However, when Tottenham’s talisman has an off day or is finding it hard to influence the game, it’s usually curtains for England. Nobody else seems comfortable shouldering the goalscoring burden.

Southgate called up Brentford’s Ivan Toney, but just when there felt like there was some hope, left him out of the matchday squad against Italy.

Advertisement
Gareth Southgate

England need to start having fun again / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

A lot of England’s recent success stemmed from their bond with the fans. Supporters loved what they were watching and the players clearly fed off that. Nowadays, however, that fun is gone.

Fans have turned on Southgate and have been vocal with their frustration towards things, and it’s that negativity which is now rubbing off on the squad.

The players aren’t enjoying things and it shows. The fun factor is gone, and performances have disappeared with it.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Football

Player ratings La Albiceleste make it through to knockout stages

Published

on

Goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez ensured Argentina’s place at the top of Group C and their place in the round of the 16 of the FIFA World Cup. Poland also squeezed through despite losing thanks to Mexico only managing to beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.

Argentina started the game brightly, getting Lionel Messi on the ball frequently in and around the penalty area – which is always the game plan for La Albiceleste. The PSG star would have the first notable shot on goal in the 10th minute, bursting into the left hand side of the penalty area before stinging Wojciech Szczęsny’s palms with a fierce strike on goal.

La Albiceleste were able to sustain that pressure with relative ease thereafter as Poland were more than happy to sit in and defend a point that would see them through to the last 16.

Marcos Acuna was next to come close for Argentina around the half-hour mark, drilling a shot just wide of the foot of the right post.

Advertisement

Julian Alvarez would then force Szczęsny into a great save five minutes later, with the Juventus number one deflecting Alvarez’s effort on goal from the left side of the penalty area out wide.

Moments later we witnessed the worst refereeing decision of the tournament thus far. Argentina were awarded an egregious penalty following a lengthy VAR check after Szczęsny was adjudged to have touched (?) Messi’s face while both were up challenging for a cross into the box.

The resulting spot kick was then brilliant saved by the Poland goalkeeper, who dove to his left to tip Messi’s effort wide. Justice well and truly served.

Immediately after the second half whistle, Argentina finally got their goal. Brighton star Alexis Mac Allister would be the man to get it, latching onto a low cross from right-back Nahuel Molina to drill past Szczęsny and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Advertisement

That goal would finally wake Poland up as an attacking entity and, in the 49th minute, they almost grabbed an equaliser through Kamil Glik. The veteran defender rose highest to head a set piece from the right flank just wide.

After a few tactical tweaks, Lionel Scaloni’s men firmly regained control of the game. In the 67th minute they deservedly doubled their lead through Julian Alvarez. The young forward held off two Polish defenders before firing high into the net.

It was so nearly three in the 72nd minute when Messi played a wonderful through ball into the path of Alvarez again. The forward, however, could only find the side-netting with his subsequent strike on goal.

In the 85th minute, Lautaro Martinez came off the bench to nearly knock Poland out of the competition. After latching onto a loose back pass, the Inter man stormed into the penalty area but shanked his shot on goal wide of the post.

Advertisement

Jakub Kiwior then saved Poland from an early exit with a stunning clearance off the line in the 93rd minute. The towering defender got back well to head clear a dinked Nicolas Tagliafico finish to keep his nation in the tournament.

GK – Wojciech Szczęsny – 8/10 – Saved his second penalty of the group stages and looked generally unbeatable in the first half. He was finally beaten in the second, but by God what a performance regardless.

RB – Matty Cash – 3/10 – Didn’t get forward as Poland would’ve liked.

CB – Kamil Glik – 4/10 – The sort of game that suits him at this point in his career and yet he still wasn’t particularly good.

Advertisement

CB – Jakub Kiwior – 7/10 – Got caught out with Molina’s cut-back cross which led to the opener. Made amends with a fantastic clearance off the line in added time.

LB – Bartosz Bereszynski – 3/10 – Struggled to defend his side.

CM – Piotr Zielinski – 3/10 – Needed to be better on the ball than he was in this one.

CM – Krystian Bielik – 4/10 – Defended quite well but generally looked hopless in possession.

Advertisement

CM – Gregorz Krychowiak – 2/10 – Got stuck in when he could get near the ball…which wasn’t often because he can’t run anymore.

AM – Przemyslaw Frankowski – 1/10 – He did literally nothing and was subbed off at half-time.

ST – Robert Lewandowski – 2/10 – So, so isolated.

ST – Karol Swiderski – N/A – Did he play? He didn’t, did he? Surely not.

Advertisement

SUB – Michal Skoras – 4/10.

SUB – Jakub Kaminski – 3/10.

SUB – Damian Szymanski – N/A.

SUB – Artur Jedrzejczyk – N/A.

Advertisement

SUB – Krzysztof Piatek – N/A.

GK – Emi Martinez – 5/10 – He had zero to do.

RB – Nahuel Molina – 7/10 – His brilliant low cross from the right flank led to the opening goal.

CB – Cristian Romero – 5/10 – Dealt with the little threat Lewa posed well.

Advertisement

CB – Nicolas Otamendi – 5/10 – An easy night at the office for Otamendi.

LB – Marcos Acuna – 6/10 – Drilled a shot just wide in the first half and got forward well.

CM – Alexis Mac Allister – 8/10 – Scored his first ever international goal at the best possible time.

CM – Enzo Fernandez – 7/10 – Another impressive performance from the young man.

Advertisement

CM – Rodrigo De Paul – 4/10 – Sloppy on the ball again. Surely he shouldn’t start for this team.

RW – Angel Di Maria – 5/10 – Saw a lot of the ball but didn’t do a whole lot with it.

CF – Lionel Messi – 4/10 – Missed a penalty. He’s not very good at penalties.

LW – Julian Alvarez – 5/10 – Scored a great goal in the second half. Well deserved start for the Man City striker.

Advertisement

SUB – Leandro Paredes – 6/10 – Did a decent job in midfield when he came on.

SUB – Nicolas Tagliafico – N/A.

SUB – Lautaro Martinez – 5/10 – Missed a decent chance in the 85th minute.

SUB – German Pezzella – N/A.

Advertisement

SUB – Thiago Almada – N/A.

Man of the Match: Alexis Mac Allister

Source link

Continue Reading

Football

Ben White leaves England World Cup squad due to ‘personal reasons’

Published

on


Arsenal star Ben White has left England’s World Cup training camp and isn’t expected to return for the remainder of the tournament.

The defender didn’t make an appearance in any of the Three Lions group stage games, and has now left the squad due to ‘personal reasons’.

In a statement released by England, the Three Lions confirmed the news: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.

Advertisement

Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

White has enjoyed a fantastic domestic season with Arsenal, becoming the club’s first choice right-back – and one of the best right-backs in the Premier League – as the Gunners have gone from top four challengers to table-toppers.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Football

Poland vs Argentina: Confirmed lineups

Published

on

Poland vs Argentina

France, who have already secured a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup 2022, play Tunisia on Wednesday in their final Group D matchup.

In the meantime, the African nation is last in the standings and must defeat the current champions to advance to the knockout stages.

Line-up

Poland XI (4-4-1-1): Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior, Cash; Frankowski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Zielinski; Swiderski; Lewandowski

Argentina XI (4-3-3): Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo Fernández, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez, Di María

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Home
Live Scores
Use App
Live TV
Predictions