but gets lucky.
Gareth Southgate wants his England team to educate but not about football, just as well as they struggled to get away with a draw against Germany in their second Nations League match.
For most of the knocking on 100 minutes of the latest England versus Germany episode, the hosts showed Southgate how to play the game that Southgate wants his team to play but are incapable of doing.
Southgate changed his system again, making you wonder why you would alter your set up for a game against Hungary just to match Hungary’s formation but change to a back four when Germany are going with a three. A back four of three dolts, with at least one error in them per game, Walker, Stones and Maguire and one player out of position, Trippier at left back.
So with that backline they tried to play that patient game of pass back that Southgate loves so much. Yeah, three dopes and a bloke on his wrong foot passing it about at the back, oh what joy.
The Germans also went with that plan, they confidently played the ball about between the back four and Neuer in goal, bringing England players onto them, getting closer and closer, more England players were dragged towards the German area, before Neuer launched the ball over them to a German player in acres of space.
Every time a winner. There was always a free man and the ball was behind most of the England team, who were left turning and chasing. One ball just bypassed most of the England team. Something they did time and time again, one ball through a mass of blue shirts and they were left behind. Throughout the game there was a free man for Germany, pass after pass to a player with absolutely no blue shirt near him.
Meanwhile at the other end England panickedly shuffled the ball between the back four, always looking like they were one slip from giving it up. But they didn’t drag the Germans out of position, the way they did to England. So eventually the ball made it’s way back to Pickford and he was left to hump it aimlessly up the park. Where the ball either curled out for a throw – on the opposite side from which Pickford kicked it – or it went straight to a player in white. England were in blue.
Both teams were pretty well matched in the final third though. They both kinda fell apart when it got there. Germany didn’t have a focal point, while England were just clueless. You swap Kane into that German team and they’re winning that game quite handsomely. Three Munich outfield players started, with a further three coming on. They’re used to having Robert Lewandowski banging them in up front, 54 in 51 appearances for club and country this last season.
Germany looked dangerous on every break, then they looked lost. England just looked lost on the break. Every time the player with the ball you could see the panic in their eyes “what do I do now… what do I do now?” as they advanced. When you actually saw them the move either died when they had the ball taken off them easily or when it was ballooned over the bar.
The opening goal came from one of those moves I mentioned earlier, German players wide open and one pass just negating a load of blue shirts. Maguire stupidly selling himself with a charge out and the ball is slipped past him, while the ball is kicked straight at Pickford but he chooses to dive to his right and his hand isn’t strong enough to stop the shot.
After scoring they looked to drop off and be happy with the one goal lead. They didn’t think England looked like doing anything and they were right up until the 72nd minute when Southgate made his first change, that wasn’t forced on him. Grealish for the ineffectual Mount.
Grealish committed defenders, all of a sudden they actually had to do something. Germany went from totally bossing the game to being pinned back a bit. Though still looking like they could break at any moment, though would they have anyone to finish it off?
Southgate’s luck came a couple of minutes before the end. Kane clipped in the area, the ref waved play on, Germany went quickly down the other end but Sane’s final ball was cut out. Then the VAR. It was obviously a pen but Kane looked to be slightly offside. Don’t know if they actually looked at that but the ref did check the monitor and asses the fact he’d made a mistake.
Neuer went to Kane’s right, Kane went to his left – where he’s been going with most of his penalties – for his 50th England goal. Moving one ahead of Charlton into second spot in England’s all time scorer chart, just three behind Rooney. Kane, scoring at a faster goal per game rate as well as over all time than those around him, his 71st cap, while Rooney and Charlton had over 100 by the time they reached their record total.
Kane had one save from Neuer but beyond that he had very little, if no, service from the likes of Sterling or Mount. Dressed in white he would have had numerous chances put on a plate for him.
Couldn’t be arsed listening to the dullard Southgate, no doubt, talk the result up. He surely couldn’t talk up the performance… he could teach someone to kneel though…