By Tony Winterburn • 09 September 2020 • 13:06
England were held to a 0-0 draw by Denmark in an uninspiring Nations League match at the Parken Stadium on Tuesday as Gareth Southgate’s side concluded a troubled international break.
England 0-0 Denmark: The Three Lions are still unbeaten from two Nations League games.
Kalvin Phillips and Conor Coady made their England debuts as Gareth Southgate’s men drew 0-0 in Tuesday’s Nations League clash against Denmark. England falls behind Belgium in the Nations League group, but a more pressing concern is whether England is falling behind the other major nations in terms of its approach. This was the major question raised from a mostly drab 0-0 draw with Denmark last night.
It doesn’t so much feel like Southgate is experimenting, as trying to work out his best team, his most talented players, especially his best midfield choice. On close examination of the match, it looks like he is no closer to a solution, however. There are genuine concerns about the squad, not least regarding the cautious mindset of the line-ups, and some of the selections.
Will Southgate will put out a team that actually makes this hugely talented squad any way better than the sum of their parts? Although the starting central duo of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice was predictably pedestrian, it might have worked if there was a real playmaker in front of them. Phil Foden was even more conspicuous by his absence in that regard, but Southgate does have other options, he eventually brought two of them on- Jack Grealish and Mason Mount.
Kane fancies himself as more of a No 10 than a striker, which made it all the more curious that he spent so much of the game so far forward. That had the effect of pushing Raheem Sterling and Jadon Sancho further wide, to occasionally get in the way of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier. Those very names raise the question of why he selected three right-backs but no left-back?
Asked about criticism of Southgate’s tactics, Kane replied: “I think as England manager, you’re always going to come under certain scrutiny at times but, look, we’re a strong group, we know what we’re aiming towards. The only positives for England from the two games recently played was the fact that they return home unbeaten, after having given debuts to four more players in last nights match.
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