By the time England’s penultimate game in the Uefa Nations League (and, more importantly, the penultimate game of any description before the World Cup) kicks off in Milan, Gareth Southgate will have had 102 days to think. in their last result: a 4-0 loss at home to Hungary. .
The high points overwhelmingly outnumbered the low points during Southgate’s six years as Three Lions boss, but there is no doubt that that dismal night at Wolverhampton represented the lowest point of his time in charge. Hungary, a competent team but not a patch on the “Magic Magyars” of the 1950s, condemned England to their worst home defeat in 96 years.
Shocking results invariably prompt an investigation and Southgate requires a much improved performance and ideally a result against Italy to keep the growing number of doubters at bay. England’s winless run extends to four games; Not since June 2014, when Roy Hodgson’s side meekly emerged from the World Cup group stage, have they gone five without one.
Despite England’s dubious form, Southgate has resisted making sweeping changes and instead retained the core of the team that reached the European Championship final last summer. Southgate’s loyalty is being tested, however, with several of his usual starters out of shape or out of the picture with his clubs.
The biggest puzzle Southgate must solve before Qatar is in defence. Euro 2020 final starters Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw have played a combined 10 minutes of Premier League football since Manchester United were crushed 4-0 by Brentford on August 13, while Ben Chilwell has started just one of Chelsea’s first six league games, albeit after returning. from a serious knee injury.
How to watch Italy vs England
- Date: friday september 23
- Event: San Siro, Milan
- Kick off: 19:45
- Television channel: Channel 4, coverage starts at 7pm
- Live broadcast: 4oD
Channel 4 presenter Jules Breach will be next to the pitch with former Juventus and Italy star Alessandro Del Piero.
Maguire’s lack of playing time coupled with the omissions of Ben White and Tyrone Mings could boost Eric Dier’s prospects with the Spurs defender enjoying a solid start to the campaign. Dier credited Antonio Conte for improving him “tactically, physically and mentally” after earning him a long-awaited national team call-up and he could benefit from playing in a back three for his club, should Southgate decide to employ a system. similar in Qatar.
The Kalvin Phillips-Declan Rice midfield lynchpin who served England so well last summer is also in danger of disintegrating with the former fighting for minutes at Manchester City and now sidelined with a recurring shoulder injury. Borussia Dortmund’s precocious teenager Jude Bellingham is the people’s choice to accompany Rice in the England engine room, but Southgate can lean on the experience of Jordan Henderson.
Mason Mount is another form-lacking Southgate favourite, as evidenced by a goalless and assistless return in six league games so far and could face renewed competition for his starting job from the Manchester City pair, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish. What reassures Southgate is that his captain and MVP Harry Kane has no such problems, having scored six league goals, putting to rest the suspicion that he is off to a slow start in the process.
While games against Italy and Germany will help shape Southgate’s starting line-up for the opening World Cup match against Iran on November 21, Brentford striker Ivan Toney is expected to be dropped at some point after having been called up to the team for the first time. weather. Toney and Tammy Abraham from Rome are vying to be Kane’s support act in the tournament.
Meanwhile, England’s opponents Italy have an experimental look at their side as Roberto Mancini looks to mold a squad for Euro 2024 after missing out on a World Cup place.
A dozen Azzurri players have fewer than five caps, including teenage striker Wilfried Gnonto, who joined Leeds from FC Zurich on transfer deadline day.
Opinion: England’s ‘One Love’ bracelet in Qatar risks being an empty gesture
By Daniel Storey YoChief football editor
Although the OneLove bracelet is something: a gesture, a significant show of unity, a shared intention for a better world, a call to arms, an advertising slogan, there is something that it is categorically not: a rainbow.
At first glance, it may look a bit like the flag that was first used as an LGBT+ alliance marker in San Francisco in the 1970s and then spread around the world as love itself, but don’t be fooled. Only the red on Harry Kane’s arm will have the same hue; colored lines extend diagonally.
There is probably a good reason for it. In April, Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, the head of security for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, explained that rainbow flags could be taken from fans for fear of attack.
As if the flags were all red and waving in the faces of the bulls instead of simply protesting against the abhorrent mistreatment of the gay community in a country where male homosexuality is illegal.
“Please, there is no need to raise that flag at this time,” was Al Ansari’s message, rather missing the point that displaying alliance is most powerful when aggressors least want to see the display.
So despite all the good intentions, the bracelet circumvents the only universally accepted symbol of LGBT+ unity. The England captain will wear it for a full season rather than just for the World Cup, but surely longevity would be replaced by immediate impact.
Analysis: Pope has improved his main weakness and can rival Pickford for the No. 1 spot
by Mark Douglas, Yonorth football correspondent
Could there be a puff of white smoke for the Pope of England when the Three Lions head to Italy this week?
Gareth Southgate has no shortage of equations to solve when England resume competitive action this week after a quartet of desperate displays in the Nations League last summer left some hitting the panic button. But a goalkeeper dilemma has arisen with the absence of Jordan Pickford with a thigh injury.
The official forecast on Pickford is two or three more weeks on the sidelines, but Southgate needs an insurance policy, and there’s not much separating the three in-form goalkeepers named in England’s latest team.
All candidates can build a case to play at the San Siro. Back as top-flight number 1, Dean Henderson is one of the few from Nottingham Forest’s cast of newcomers to emerge from his rocky start in the top flight with any credit.
Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale is the undisputed No. 1 of the Premier League leaders, and he has the backing of club manager Mikel Arteta to unseat Pickford himself in time for England’s first game in November.
However, Pope can be said to have put in the most complete set of performances of any of the England goalkeepers outside of Pickford. Since he moved from Burnley in the summer, he has exceeded expectations at Tyneside.
“He’s already shown us this year how good he can be,” said Eddie Howe of his £11m signing, who beat out Martin Dubravka at St James’ Park.
“He has kept goal very well: his distribution, his crossing, his shot stopping have been of the highest level. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Pope knew that the biggest question mark among England managers was his ability to play the role of goalkeeper-sweeper the way Pickford has. He welcomed the opportunity to respond to those criticisms after leaving Burnley in the summer, reasoning that Howe’s style of play would allow him to spend less time shooting long balls.
During a long and intense pre-season at Newcastle, most of Pope’s work was on how he would help the team play from behind. He seems to be paying off for him: Last season, his average pass length was 52.8 yards. This year it’s 42.2 yards and his accuracy has also increased.
Source : zonadeprensard.com