England: Rival fans slate Kalvin Phillips despite social media praise

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips

A number of football fans have had their say regarding Kalvin Phillips' performance for England on Thursday night. 

This season, Phillips has emerged as one of Leeds United's key performers. According to WhoScored, only Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper and Raphinha have provided a higher average rating across this campaign. 

This level of form helped earn Phillips a call-up to the national squad and he made his fifth international appearance against San Marino. 

Lining up in midfield alongside Mason Mount and James Ward-Prowse, the Leeds midfielder played the entirety of the fixture and provided some solid defensive numbers. 

Across the World Cup qualifier, Phillips won five aerial duels and recorded a single tackle at Wembley Stadium. In addition to this, the 25-year-old had a pass completion rate of 91%. 

Following the game, the official Three Lions Twitter account posted a tweet claiming he was "everywhere" to praise the Leeds man. However, a number of supporters replied to this post with their assessments of Phillips' performance. 

Indeed, it's safe to say that they were less than impressed with his display for Gareth Southgate's side. 

Phillips

"Worst player out there tonight and you could see it from a mile off. Technically he’s far from England quality," one fan commented. 

The criticism didn't stop there either, as one Liverpool fan labeled the midfielder a "fraud", while a Rotherham supporter called Phillips "shocking". 

Phillips Phillips

A number of fans went on to criticise the England Twitter account, as one user said, "Are we really bigging up a player against San Marino? That is a new low even for us!!"

Phillips Phillips

However, one fan recognised Phillips' ability but also stated that he may not be the best fit for this England squad. 

Phillips

"Good player for Leeds and their system but I don’t think he suits the England system at all," an Aston Villa fan said. "Looks lost at times, not particularly tonight, but previous England games."

GIVEMESPORT's Tom Kelly says... 

Under Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips plays in a meticulous system where he performs a very specific role for Leeds and he knows what is ultimately expected of him.

Moving forward, that could potentially be an issue, given England haven't yet proven to be quite as free-flowing as Bielsa's side. Still, he wouldn't be the first player who's had to adapt his game on the international front. 

Since his introduction to the national squad, we're yet to see the best of Phillips and ultimately the same level of performances that we see him provide in a Leeds shirt. 

To unlock Phillips' ability, he needs a consistent run of games in the England team so he can become comfortable and identify his role in the squad. However, with Declan Rice also in the squad, a run of games won't be easy and the sheer nature of the England squad will surely always lead to debate from rival supporters. 

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