Just as he did against Germany last Friday, Gareth Southgate used the friendly against Brazil on Tuesday night to test some of England’s talented youngsters against one of the world’s best international teams.
Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez, Jake Livermore, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marcus Rashford all started for the Three Lions at Wembley while Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke were sent on in the second half.
Overall, Southgate was delighted with his side’s second consecutive 0-0 draw, describing himself as “incredibly proud”.
“In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I’ve been involved in,” the England boss told reporters. “We couldn’t get hold of the ball and keep it. Tonight we just showed resilience, guts and some outstanding defending and I’m incredibly proud.
“We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying and we’ve played the best two teams in the world and not conceded.”
Southgate, however, has received some stick for handing a senior international debut to Solanke, who replaced Jamie Vardy in the 75th minute.
The Liverpool forward, 20, has played just 85 minutes of Premier League football this season and is yet to start a league match in English football.
Le Tissier's tweet caused a stir
Among those who reacted to the Solanke substitution was former Southampton and England striker Matt Le Tissier, whose tweet caused a bit of a stir.
“Never thought I’d see the day a player gets capped by his country before he starts a career league game!” the Sky Sports pundit tweeted.
As you can probably imagine, there was a mixed response to Le Tiss’s tweet…
But he wasn’t the only England fan who thought it was a little strange that Solanke was playing - especially after Southgate’s comments about Jack Wilshere earlier this month.
“I don’t know how you get in an England squad if you’re not in the Arsenal team,” Southgate said of the Arsenal midfielder after naming his latest squad.
Hypocritical? You can understand why some England fans feel that way…
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