slow, dull and predictable.
Southgate’s England got off to a flying start with their first loss to Hungary in 60 years, after a clueless display of backward passing.
Well… actually their backward passing wasn’t actually clueless it was a masterclass in backward passing.
Of course Harry Kane was getting the brunt of the blame – I mean people actually ask Matthew Upson his opinion, this is the world we live in. Oh, he’s dropping too deep. Well, look at the team Southgate put out there. If Kane doesn’t drop deep there is absolutely no creativity but when he does drop deep there’s absolutely no cutting edge.
But hey ho, blame Kane for actually trying to do something to make this rabble function.
Southgate went with a back three to match up with the hosts. It didn’t work. On the right new boy Justin looked a bit scared before he got injured, being replaced at half-time. His replacement, Saka made one good run early on in the half but disappeared after that.
On the other side Alexander-Arnold is turning into another of those Liverpool players who are, to use their native phrase, “Scouse not English”. With an awful display. His crossing and corners were atrocious, giving no one in the penalty area a hope in hell of getting in the same postcode as the ball, as it sailed over their heads. Will it go for a throw or a goal kick?
It was hard to image that his replacement could be worse in the 30 minutes left than TAA was in his hour on the pitched. Yet, Reece James amazingly managed this. Hell, even without giving away the penalty he was worse. Of all the backpass specialist. James tops them all.
I lost count the number of times in that last 30 minutes that England had the ball on the edge of the Hungarian area, only for James with one pass play it back to the halfway line or even further back. It could all be summed up with a throw in the England half, not once did James actually look forward, he was only going to throw it backwards.
Though James was beaten in the backpass to beat all backpasses, think it was Stones who managed to pass the ball back from the edge of his own 6 yard box.
Throughout it all despite having most of the ball and more shots, England looked less likely to score than Hungary. The host were unlucky with a long range shot that had Pickford – who looked very hyper before kickoff – beaten but just curled past the post. When Hungary attacked quickly they looked far more dangerous than England did all game.
That penalty was a penalty. James took the Hungary player out, after he’d played the ball. All the usual suspects coming out with their “not in my day” crap. Well, no it probably wouldn’t have been given in the last couple of decades but it’s a foul, it always has been, it’s just refs have bottled it recently. Which has led to defenders who are more interested in playing the man than the ball.
Bowen did some stuff but it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things, not enough to get pundits wetting themselves, like they were. The substitutes made no difference.
England limply losing to the weak team of the group… I bet Channel 4 were really glad they bought the rights to this rubbish…