Southgate goes from Arteta-ball to cautious Conte

Morning.

Let’s blog today as it took me a few beers to get over that England performance last night.

I had the first draft of a great blog written about how Gareth Southgate’s England were inspired by Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.

The transition to 4 at the back, a single pivot defensive midfielder in front of them, two 8’s and inverted wingers.

It worked against Iran as we pressed high, we’re aggressive, and scored 6 goals.

Last night Southgate went from channelling his inner Arteta to becoming Antonio Conte.

The defence dropped deep, Bellingham was pushed deeper to make a 2-man central midfield, and the front line did not press.

Like Conte’s Tottenham, England were set up to not lose rather than win the game.

It is already a bad sign that 2 games in , Harry Kane looks shot. and that Southgate is incapable of substituting him.

He was a passenger for most of the second half and clearly not fit. Yet played the full 90.

I still think we would have beaten Italy in the Euro’s had Southgate had the balls to take Kane off in extra time.

Kane contributed nothing in those 30 minutes and he was basically kept on to take a penalty.

During extra time, whenever Bukayo Saka got the ball he looked a threat. Italy’s tiring, ageing defence were reduced to fouling him on the halfway line.

Imagine had Southgate bought on Marcus Rashford for Kane to play down the middle. Lightening and fresh, he would’ve carved out a couple of chances for himself.

And if it is going to be the same this tournament, England might as well go home.

After 60 minutes, Kane is finished. He begins to rely on just being a 6-yard box striker. Needs others around him to do his running. It is basically like playing with 10-men.

What is the point of having Calum Wilson on the bench if you are not going to bring him on?

England will get through the group, then be knocked out by the first decent team we play (again). Southgate will be heroic in failure, when the truth is he is an awful coach who is wasting a talented group of young, exciting, attacking talent.

Time for a coffee. Tomorrow we go back to focusing on The Arsenal.

Keenos

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