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Opinion

‘If only England had somebody to put their foot on the ball in midfield and someone to calm it down at the back…’

9 months ago
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I hadn’t watched an England game for a while.

I love the tournaments and look forward to watching England in them, though a bit like Newcastle it is with no expectation of anything positive happening overall.

It is a poor substitute for proper (club) football but nevertheless, you can’t help but look forward to a World Cup.

However, watching England last night, it was the same old same old.

They played quite well in the first half and deserved to lead, taking their two chances through Kane and Cahill.

However, once again you have to laugh as the commentators and pundits get totally carried away on the evidence of very little.

Nigeria never got going in that opening 45 minutes and as a reminder to the experts getting carried away with yesterday’s first half, the opposition are only ranked 47th in the world (England are 11th).

Their star players are Victor Moses, John Obi Mikel, and former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, yet they still came out in the second half an were much the better team, scored quickly through Iwobi, and arguably deserved to draw.

I was interested to hear amongst the comments as England struggled in that second half, that our side was missing somebody who could put their foot on the ball in midfield, as well as then a call for someone to calm and settle things at the back, as Southgate’s team began to look ragged.

I wonder what Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles were thinking as they watched on TV?

England have got a few good players such as Kane, Walker and Sterling, then a lot of half decent players.

Then Southgate started making his substitutions…

Danny Rose and Rashford are obviously talented players but how on earth are Loftus-Cheek, Welbeck and Delph in this World Cup squad?

Welbeck has only made 12 PL starts this past season, whilst Loftus-Cheek has done next to nothing for me to be included, if this pair weren’t playing in London they’d have no chance, the same with Cahill, who apparently had a great game and was man of the match because he scored…

Fabian Delph had been playing at left-back for Man City, when selected, but came on in midfield for England, and looked really poor.

The average to poor nature of most of this squad, outside the obvious handful of players, leaves me wondering just how Jonjo Shelvey in particular could be overlooked, whilst nobody can tell me Cahill is better than Lascelles.

Yet all you heard after the game from commentators/pundits was how great everybody had done…
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