Two thousand English children were chosen on Saturday evening to watch a repeat of the European Championship final between England and Italy, this time in the context of the less attractive Nations League. The game was played without an audience as punishment for the chaotic scenes around the last summer battle that drew Italy in after a penalty shootout. That was not a complete pleasure for the young grunt. After the humble, goalless display, the kids led both teams on Saturday evening with emotional boos.
England were thinking of revenge, but last week they really lit up against Hungary (losing 1-0) and Germany (1-1). Scoring goals is a particular problem. Southgate’s national team coach was left goalless from open play for four hours.
In fact, only Captain Harry Kane succeeds, he scored more goals (50) than the rest together (49), but he remained on the bench against Italy for a long time. In the European Championship, Raheem Sterling was also on track to score goals. However, the City player is looking for his impressive form in the England squad, which manifested itself in the 51st minute when all he had to do was hit a cross from James, but the ball was hopelessly over target.
depend on ken
Italy were happier with the draw, and national coach Mancini is experimenting with his absence from the World Cup. Only two players from the European Championship final (Donnarumma and Di Lorenzo) appeared at the start of the match, but they were still easy and moved better than all those expensive players that Southgate started. She also had more chances, while England with Grealish, Mount, Abraham and Sterling had an attacking quartet worth about three hundred million euros. “We’re very much dependent on Kane for our goals at the moment and that’s a concern,” Southgate said.
This seems odd, given the value attributed to his offensive potential, with Saka, Bellingham and Foden (together 250 million in estimated transfer value) as options as well. With the caveat that English players are a little more expensive anyway, because English clubs should have more of them in their selections due to regulations.
Southgate was unable to reach Phil Foden. But about his club colleague Jack Grealish, for whom Manchester City paid more than 100 million euros a little less than a year ago. Becky Jack He remains a fun player to watch. Fixing matches is not often one of them.
“Jack is what I saw tonight,” Southgate said. “He catches the ball really well, he controls to force opponents to take steps on tiptoe. But I think he got one shot tonight. Scoring is an area that we need to improve if we want to make progress as a team. We have to split that burden between several players, because Sometimes Kane isn’t around.
England, who qualified easily for the World Cup, will meet Iran, the United States and Wales in the group stage of the tournament in Qatar, but confidence in Southgate’s men is visibly waning. In addition to the lack of goals, there is an almost chronic lack of entertainment. To the neutral spectator, England weren’t actually in the European Championships, but at least they still won. It is hoped that this form of tournament will be revived in Qatar. But Southgate noted that the negative noise around the team was getting “very loud”.
Oddly enough, there is some cautious optimism about the national team back in Italy. The blow of the World Cup absence has yet to be absorbed, after a losing playoff against North Macedonia at the end of March, and will likely erupt again when the World Cup kicks off. But it is clear that Mancini is building a new team and giving opportunity to a lot of unknown talent. They generally adapt easily and were mainly in charge of England even though that had a bit more ball.
Italy is looking forward curiously to Tuesday when the Blue Freebooters go to Germany. And worn-out England, Hungary on the same day, will receive Molyneux again at Wolverhampton. It will be packed. Southgate should hope an enthusiastic Kane, who would rather smash Rooney’s international record (53) today rather than tomorrow, silence the critical voices.
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