There’s never a nadir to Southgate’s England

Highlights - England vs Denmark | Uefa Euro 2024 | BBC Sport

there’s always a new depth.

Well, England’s second group game in Euro 2024, against Denmark was pretty much wash, rinse, repeat performance of going up and giving up.

As predicted Southgate picked the same dysfunctional starting XI except they managed to be even more dysfunctional than the previous game. Unbelievable I know.

Of course they went ahead as Walker actually ran forward and didn’t pass the ball back. Nicking the ball off the Danish player – imagine being mentally slower than Walker – he then ran into the box and panicked. An aimless attempt at a cross, to no one, found its way to Kane to slot home.

At this point England had a mass retreat, camping out on the edge of their own 18 yard line. Denmark now had 60% of the ball for the rest of the half. In which Denmark had nearly three times as many shots and equalised, with a screamer for which no England player bothered to close him down. There was the odd leg dangled, but no effort shown.

And of course after Southgate’s half-time talk it got worse. As it always does. And then Gareth made a change, yes, just what this game needed Gallagher to come on and do nothing but give away fouls. He then went and changed his front three with like-for-like replacements. Gareth won’t change, he won’t see something isn’t working and change the structure.

This game did see Kane dropping deep and wide, after staying up front and isolated in the Serbia game. So why not bring on Watkins, who did make a difference, not for Kane but drop Kane to the number 10 spot. After all he can link play, he can pass the ball better than anyone else Southgate has and Watkins can use his pace.

But no Gareth won’t do something like that. Play a right-back at left-back, but won’t do something like that. He has a plan, that plan is to win 1-0. Because Southgate is a copier. He see how others do it and copies. He was told others won tournaments 1-0 so he has to do it. He’s seen other managers play a fullback in the middle, so he has to do it. He’s seen inverted wingers, so he has to do it.

Foden is named player of the year, so he has to play, even though he doesn’t fit into the team structure, as he showed here with attempted shot after attempted shot. Why play someone else in when you can go for personal glory? There’s a reason that Foden was the City player who played the second most minutes this last season, but sixth for assists. While Saint Jude fell down when ever anyone in red got within a yard of him and rolled around moaning. “Do you know who I am?”

And all through this his mates in the media just ignore his pivotal role in England playing like this. These players don’t play like this for their clubs but as soon as Southgate gets hold of them.

But they just turn a blind eye and don’t mention the elephant in the room. But then they bigged him up over the years, in a way that you’d think games like this were something new and not the norm.

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