Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Shearer: England without pattern of play due to midfield inbalance

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Jun 2024

33 Views

Alan Shearer believes England are yet to find their pattern of play at Euro 2024, with Gareth Southgate struggling to find a balance in midfield.

The Three Lions topped Group C thanks to their goalless draw with Slovenia on Tuesday but were booed off by fans, and have been subject to criticism for their flat performances along the way.

England created an expected goals (xG) of just 0.8 against Slovenia, while their matches at the tournament have produced the fewest xG (2.26 for, 1.13 against).

Southgate has made just one change to his starting line-ups at the tournament so far, with Conor Gallagher replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield for the last match, though the Chelsea midfielder was switched for Kobbie Mainoo at half-time after failing to make an impact.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Shearer, who played in three major tournaments for England, said: “I really wanted to see a reaction to the criticism the team have been getting but, apart from the final few minutes, it just didn’t happen,” Shearer said.

“Instead, until some late changes, it was exactly the same sort of disappointing performance we’d already seen twice from Gareth Southgate’s side at this tournament.

“We keep on saying there is so much more to come from this team, but Southgate has not found the balance to get the best out of his players. That is the biggest thing that needs to change if we are going to see them play like they do for their clubs.

“One of the most concerning things about watching England is that I don’t see a pattern of play when we bring the ball forward. I just see us struggling to find one.

“The way Phil Foden and [Jude] Bellingham are being used together has not been a success, which is why I thought the better route would be to use Bellingham alongside [Declan] Rice and put Foden as the number 10.”

It is not only in midfield that Shearer thinks England are having problems, as Harry Kane, Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden struggled to make an impact up front.

Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer were late introductions off the bench for Southgate’s side, with England looking more of a threat through them in stoppage time.

“The move right at the end that started with Bellingham and Gordon on the left and ended with Palmer’s shot being saved was probably the best thing we did all night,” Shearer added.

“It was the only time at these Euros that I saw us move the ball from left to right with pace, and it caused the opposition problems.

“We need to see much more of that, and Palmer and Gordon could be the key to providing the spark and energy we have been badly missing. That’s what gives me the most hope, because there’s not been very much else to get excited about.

“Palmer and Gordon have given Southgate something massive to think about – and he has got some huge decisions to make.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

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

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top