is this not why you are here?
Somehow after losing to Hungary, then scraping a draw against German, Southgate’s England managed to be even worse in their nil nil draw at home to Italy.
After three games England sit at the bottom of their Nations League, which is the group of death… bored to death. No wins. One goal. And a lucky two points that very easily could be none.
Much like against Germany, England should have been beaten by Italy, in their first meeting since the Euro final loss. But much like the German match, the opposition didn’t take their good chances, while looking lightweight and shot shy up front.
Gareth’s mates in the media are all sticking up for him, making excuses, trotting out the tired old tales of supposed success. While not asking why England are so damn boring. It can only be one of two reasons. Either the England players are doing what Southgate wants, passing it backwards, or they’re doing it themselves, against his instructions. Either way, what is the point of Southgate. Anyone can send the team out there not to do anything, then we wouldn’t have to put up with his sanctimonious tone and permanently befuddled expression.
I mean, who else would continually pick a right back at left back? Oh, but Gareth says Trippier is needed for his set pieces, but then he plays Ward-Prowse, whose only contribution is set pieces. He certainly didn’t provide much creativity in the middle of the park.
No, no creativity, as Southgate decided to rest Kane. So no creativity nor any cutting edge, with Abraham and Sterling. I mean, why would you play Kane against the supposed weak team in the group, Hungary, to then leave him out at home to Italy? Does that really make any sense? Tiny Tears commentating for C4 telling us how well Abraham did – yeah he didn’t get any service, as with Kane, but he didn’t exactly do much himself.
While Sterling is still befuddled about which foot to kick the ball with in front of an open goal.
But for the rest of the game England passed the ball backwards. Harry Maguire has attempted nearly 200 passes in the three games in the competition, just over a quarter of them have gone forward. He’s a central defender for Christ’s sake and the vast majority of his passes aren’t going forward.
And this just sums Southgate’s England up.
The fullbacks don’t get forward and when they do they pass it back. The defenders pass it sideways to each other or a midfielder who then passes it back to them or sideways. No forward balls, no killer passes, no sliding it through the channel to the fullback, to put a cross over. Just sideways or backward passes and running into cul-de-sacs because they haven’t got a clue what to do.
Italy, just like Germany, didn’t punish them. A number of times they played that pass through the channel. They put crosses in but there was just no one there to finish them off. They then fell into the passing it sideways or back when in good positions after going forward.
So bottom of that league and looking like they haven’t got a clue how to create a goal, never mind score one, with Southgate’s favourites failing miserably, so much so he even took four of them off during the game. Though was he right about Grealish, or did he do this to Grealish. When he starts he looks like a super-sub. Here he just kept slowing all the play down, stopping and letting the defence get back and get organised, while cutting inside and running into blue walls.
Everything Southgate touches turns to dull…