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England Lacked Three Things In Scotland Stalemate ! James - Ward - Prowse
Saturday, 19th Jun 2021 07:48

Those who predicted that Gareth Southgate picked an England squad that concentrated too much on keeping the ball and keeping clean sheets and lacked inspiration had their theories proved right as England lacked a player who could unlock defences.

England had a lot of possession against Scotland, but most of it was around the half way line and on too many occasions we turned back towards our own goal and failed to press forward with any sort of energy.

This seems to be the way that Gareth Southgate wants to play, he wants to drill into his players a work ethic of keeping the ball and and looking for openings, but not at the expense of the chance of losing possession.

The problem was that players that seem to be able to open up defences for their club, seemed muted and almost afraid to try anything.

Up front Harry Kane was a shadow of his former self and it wasn't all his fault, he spent most of the game watching his team mates passing the ball sideways and back and rarely actually trying that killer pass.

Raheem Sterling didn't seem to be capable of taking on his man and indeed didn't even seem to want to, same to with Phil Foden, he has been a revelation with Manchester City but he was a different player for England, why ?

The three midfield players Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips were functional but no more, they lacked inspiration and they constantly failed to get the ball through to the front men, Mason mount could be perhaps excused a little, but even he eventually seemed to knuckle down and play the way he was obviously told.

These players are in the main exceptional for their club sides and I can't believe that their good form in the Premier League is because they are surrounded by better players.

But the problem against the Scots was that there was not only an air of negativity in the side, but there were too many players who could not deliver a moment of inspiration, not just in open play but in set pieces, free kicks and corners were usually poor.

Put bluntly Gareth Southgate has picked a side to play in a way and when things don't go to plan he has few in his squad who can change the pattern, he has too many bland players and not enough flare.

Our build ups were slow and lethargic and the ball was passed, but at a pedestrian pace, we could never get Scotland on the back foot enough, when we went forward it was so slow in the build up they had time to get behind the ball and make sure we could not unlock them.

Jack Grealish came on and tried, but too often he was faced with tartan wall in front of him and no options from those around him.

This was a game that cried out for three words, James Ward Prowse, if Southgate had him on the bench, surely he would have been an asset in the last 30 minutes, what was needed was someone who could deliver the ball, Ward Prowse would have quickened the pace and passing in the midfield, he would have upped the tempo, but more importantly would have been his ability to deliver the ball, England had no one who could find Harry Kane in the box, they had no one who could deliver a decent corner and they had no one who could deliver a free kick, either into the box or to have a strike on goal.

Gareth Southgate has failed to put a squad together that has variety, Ok he wants to play a certain type of style, but when that fails you need a plan B and he hasn't got one in the squad JWP would have been the ideal wild card.

But Southgate preferred to take extra defenders who probably won't get a game, he preferred to take Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson who are injured, those two has something in common with James Ward Prowse in that all three of them sat on their arses and watched the game, the difference was that Southgate and England truly needed Ward Prowse at Wembley on Friday night.

Of course i'm biased having watched JWP for the last 9 years, but I do truly believe that the England squad has too many similar players and from that perspective does not have any real game changers aside from Jack Grealish, but that is not enough, Ward Prowse should have been in this England squad and come the end of the tournament Gareth Southgate might just regret that he isn't, I would say that must have gone through his mind last night as his players put in an uninspiring performance with no one able to make that decisive pass.

Photo: Action Images



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underweststand added 08:16 - Jun 19
Surely not unexpected.JWP has proven he is in a class ofhis own (to almost everyone except GS that is) . In The Croatia game England had 2 freekicks in JWP territory that he would have had for breakfast and yet neither shot even cleared
the wall. SOUTHGATE may yet regret not having a setpiece specialist in the side.Against Scotland they lacked creative passes from midfield and looked abysmal on the night
.

3

SaintPaulVW added 08:16 - Jun 19
I think we will miss him in the latter stages when it is likely we will have to process through games that go into extra time. A defensive player who can hit a great dead ball would be a real asset then to break the deadlock. He would have to be on the pitch though and would only be fourth choice at CM so unlikely he would have featured at all.

perversely, I'm sort of glad he didn't go, if he had played a blinder there would be a lot of interest in him. I'd rather keep him slightly under wraps.

Looking at the other Saints involved, Adams played his usual game. Just needs a tad more composure in the box. Movement and passing were excellent.

Armstrong in his brief cameo looked great too. Never tire of those Armstrong 'Express' runs up the pitch.
2

halftimeorange added 09:05 - Jun 19
What this game showed is that England's superstars are only made to look good when they have multi-million pound foreign class players alongside them. Together they looked like a flock of sheep with a hapless shepherd looking after them. Scotland (and Wales) players really worked for each other and their nation whereas our lot simply jogged their way through ninety minutes of mediocrity. You can't tell me that JWP and Ings would've performed with such lethargy.
3

saintmark1976 added 09:15 - Jun 19
Frankly I don’t think it would have made any difference if J W P had played. He would simply have been dragged down to the same level as the over hyped and over paid dullards surrounding him.

Kane didn’t look fit and was taken off yet Bamford and Watkins can’t even get into the squad. That alone tells you all you need to know about Southgate and the F A hierarchy.
0

perazi added 09:44 - Jun 19
The Premier League is the best Football competition in the world. Sadly it's not primarily English or UK players who make it special. The suggestion that JWP would lift the England side with his delivery and speed of passing etc is fanciful - Im stunned by many of the articles the bloke in charge here writes.
-3

perazi added 09:44 - Jun 19
The Premier League is the best Football competition in the world. Sadly it's not primarily English or UK players who make it special. The suggestion that JWP would lift the England side with his delivery and speed of passing etc is fanciful - Im stunned by many of the articles the bloke in charge here writes.
-3

1962saint added 10:24 - Jun 19
By failing to win last night it may (unplanned) improve England's chances of further progression in the tournament. Another draw v the Czech Republic will result in England being runners up and the Czechs being group winners on goal difference. Their 'reward' will be to play the winners of Group F possibly France, Fermany or Portugal.
England would play the runners up in Group E Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, or Poland.
1

sandywelsh added 10:37 - Jun 19
England had a lot of possession against Scotland, but most of it was around the half way line and on too many occasions we turned back towards our own goal and failed to press forward with any sort of energy. Sounds like a Saints match report Nick!
2

Boris1977 added 13:35 - Jun 19
Sandy, I get the impression that Nick took the words from his template for saints reports over last few seasons just changing the names ☺️.

As an ex-pro remarked a few years ago modern players are drilled into playing a system with little room for spontaneity which makes for boring viewing.
3

Peterx added 16:15 - Jun 20
Was nice to see how Che pretty much bossed the England defence.

I thought JWP was more missed in the Croatia game, I thought Danny's linking game would have been the thing for the Scotland game for the last 30 if he had been in the squad.

With 5 subs possible I would have liked to have seen Saka and / or Sancho come on as well against Scotland.
3


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