Monday , May 20 2024

Gareth Southgate: Three questions for England boss after Brazil defeat at Wembley | Football News

Gareth Southgate said he was “pleased” with England’s performance in their 1-0 defeat to Brazil – but there were issues raised across the pitch.

England were without 12 squad regulars for the friendly and were beaten by a late finish from Endrick, leaving Southgate to pick out aspects of the game which encouraged him in his post-match press conference.

“Clearly I don’t like losing football matches but I thought there were a lot of very good individual performances from players who have hardly played for England. More regular players were very good,” he said.

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England boss Gareth Southgate was pleased with the performances of those players who made their debuts, insisting he remains positive despite the defeat.

“We had as many attempts on goal as they have and the difference was one moment.”

Three key issues will be in the minds of England supporters ahead of the next friendly with Belgium on Tuesday at Wembley – the final fixture before Southgate has to name his initial squad for this summer’s European Championships.

Why is there defensive uncertainty?

Kyle Walker picked up an injury in England's friendly against Brazil
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Kyle Walker picked up an injury in England’s friendly against Brazil

Gareth Southgate was right to point to the quality of the passing in the final third from Brazil on Saturday night, but there remains uncertainty in the England defence.

Harry Maguire made a familiar error which Raphinha should have punished. Lucas Paqueta hit the post after Ben Chilwell – who had a game he’d rather forget – went missing from left-back in the build-up. Kyle Walker’s injury adds to the issue, with fellow right-backs Kieran Trippier and Trent Alexander-Arnold also in the treatment room.

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At kick-off, this appeared to be England’s most likely defence for their Euros opener with Serbia and it could well remain so, with Luke Shaw facing a long period out. That puts greater importance on who joins Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in midfield and how that trio is set up.

Who will solve the midfield dilemma?

Conor Gallagher worked tirelessly in midfield and set up Watkins for his big chance but he does not look like the answer to support Rice and provide balance to Bellingham’s driving runs. It’s not his fault.

“Conor’s coming in off a slightly different position, having to play slightly deeper,” admitted Southgate.

Too often England were caught on the counter-attack by Rodrygo and Lucas Paqueta, who turned away from Gallagher early on and played Vinicius through on goal in the 12th minute.

Jordan Henderson would be the obvious pick against better opposition despite his disjointed season. He is one of Southgate’s tried and trusted midfielders. The bulletproof Kalvin Phillips has played his way out of the squad.

Kobbie Mainoo came on for his England debut with 15 minutes to go
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Kobbie Mainoo came on for his England debut with 15 minutes to go

“We’re short of a few, we don’t have a lot of midfield players that play at No 6s in the league. That’s why we brought Kobbie [Mainoo] in.”

The Manchester United youngster showed flashes of his talent in his brief cameo although it would be unfair to think he is ready to start for England at the Euros with just one cap and 15 club appearances.

It is unlike Southgate to throw caution to the wind but could Phil Foden be the best option? He has shone for Manchester City this season in the middle and has always flattered to deceive in wide positions for England. Perhaps attack is the best form of defence for England right now.

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Has Watkins miscuing opened the door for Toney?

England's Ollie Watkins missed his big chance of the night
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England’s Ollie Watkins missed his big chance of the night

Ollie Watkins’ big moment came and went in the 18th minute as he hammered over England’s best chance of the match.

Standing in for Harry Kane is no easy task but strikers are judged on their goals and international football is ruthless as Brazil showed late on.

Kane also brings an all-round game that is different to Watkins. The Bayern Munich striker drops off the front line to hold the ball up, brings others into play and threads killer passes. Watkins runs in behind and plays within the posts. If nothing else, he has to score.

Anthony Gordon – described as “excellent at both sides of his game” by Southgate – shone on his audition on the left flank. Watkins failed to show his best Aston Villa form. Ivan Toney will now be relishing his chance on Tuesday against Belgium.

What’s next for England?

England are back in action again on Tuesday when they take on Belgium at Wembley in an international friendly; kick-off 7.45pm.

Gareth Southgate’s side then play two more international friendlies against Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James’ Park on June 3 and Iceland at Wembley on June 7 before beginning their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia on June 16.

El deporte es una actividad física y competitiva que involucra habilidades, destrezas y esfuerzo físico. Se practica en todo el mundo y puede ser individual o en equipo. Los deportes fomentan la salud, la camaradería y la competencia sana, y varían desde deportes al aire libre como el fútbol y el tenis hasta deportes de interior como el baloncesto y el ajedrez. Cada deporte tiene sus propias reglas y objetivos, pero todos promueven un estilo de vida activo y saludable.

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