Gareth Southgate has come under fire after England’s tepid 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday.
England 0-0 Scotland
The Three Lions failed to build on the momentum of their 1-0 victory over Croatia in what proved to be a dire affair under the Wembley arch where Scotland actually created the better chances.
Jordan Pickford was forced to make a crucial save from Stephen O’Donnell in the first-half and Reece James headed Lyndon Dykes’ effort off the line to maintain a clean sheet after the break.
By contrast, however, England looked bereft of ideas in attack with John Stones squirming the nation’s biggest opportunity, while Harry Kane came under fire for his own performance.
England vs Scotland Match Highlights (Football Terrace)
Wright criticises Southgate’s tactics
As such, many pundits and supporters alike are giving their two cents on England’s attacking woes, but few takes seemed more accurate and appropriate than that of Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
Taking his place in the ITV studio alongside Graeme Souness and Roy Keane, Wright was clearly passionate about his frustration with Southgate’s decision-making during the goalless draw.
And judging by the thousands of people to have shared footage of Wright’s monologue, it would appear as though his pointers to the England manager were agreed upon by most supporters.
According to the Independent, Wright fumed to ITV: “What is he [Southgate] taking Foden off for? There’s no way Phil Foden should be leaving the pitch today, for me.
“It’s very disappointing to see. You’ve got someone like Jadon Sancho on the bench. 15 goals and 20 assists a season – and he doesn’t even get on. We need to create.
“We could talk about Harry Kane and the chances he could have had or the touch he didn’t have, but at the same time did we really create enough? Did we have enough.
“We [England] are meant to be favourites for winning the tournament… I’m embarrassed for us today.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Kobe Tong says
I don’t always agree with everything that Wright says, but I think he’s perfectly summed up where Southgate went wrong with his substitutions.
Now, it’s worth saying that it’s easy to say so with the benefit of hindsight because there could easily have been a world where Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish conspired to score England’s winner.
But even if you don’t believe that Raheem Sterling should have been taken off ahead of Foden, which I do, you’ve got to say that Wright’s point about Jadon Sancho is bang on the money.
It’s staggering that somebody entering the tournament in such incredible form for a Champions League team hasn’t been given a single minute of action when England are struggling to score goals.
Three consecutive 1-0 victories and a goalless draw isn’t the sort of attack that will get England far this summer, so surely rolling the dice with Sancho is the least that we can do going forward.
It might be unpopular for me to say so, but I whole-heartedly believe that Southgate is the right man for England and a true credit to the historic position.
However, on this particular occasion, I’ve got to side with Wright and say that his substitutions should have been better. Let’s hope we come into the Czech Republic game with far more direction going forward.