Sunday, September 25, 2022

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CHRIS SUTTON: It wasn’t the kind of show that would make you think England are going to win the World Cup

If what Gareth Southgate wanted was a performance, it wasn’t it. It wasn’t the kind of performance that would make you, as a fan, think England will win the World Cup.

When Southgate plays with bigger sides he will play with a back three but it was all pretty lackluster. I’m not sure if previous results stuck in their heads, but it really lacked rhythm and continuity.

They didn’t flow all night. Neither side did. It’s amazing to think that these two were supposedly the best sides on the continent when they reached the final of last year’s Euros.

England won’t win in Qatar by playing the sides off the pitch and they certainly looked rather dangerous on the counterattack.

On the plus side, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham showed off some really nice touches. Bellingham deserves his chance.

He’s always trying to get the ball forward and break the lines, but England haven’t put him on the ball enough. They will need his courage and willingness to move up the pitch in Qatar.

It was also positive that England didn’t allow many big chances. Eric Dier walked in looking confident. Bukayo Saka’s start was an interesting call for the left-back.

It’s a tough one to move to the other side of the field and I’m not saying he’s not capable, but it was an attempt by the manager that didn’t work out the way he wanted.

I suppose the argument is that England looked good defensively but with the World Cup just two months away are they playing with enough guts and confidence?

It’s not heavy metal football, but it was never under Gareth. Do we just have to accept that?

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