While a 3-0 win over Scotland may appear an impressive result, England were average at best in their latest World Cup qualifier.
The Three Lions were second best to their north neighbours for prolonged periods and only after the second goal could they relax. Moreover, there were no shortage of poor performers.
Incredibly though, Graeme Souness has sunk his teeth into two players who, you’d think, were some of England’s finest on the day. The Liverpool legend isn’t best pleased however.
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England may have remained unbeaten since their Euro 2016 debacle, but convincing performances have been few and far between.
The 1-0 win over Slovakia proved rather fortuitous, Malta should have been dispatched by a far greater scoreline and only via Joe Hart did the Three Lions leave Slovenia with a point.
Such a trend was extended under the Wembley arch against Scotland. Having taken a first half lead against the run of play, England were losing a war of attrition for hearty chunks of the game.
The home side were simply more clinical though. Gareth Southgate’s men could arguably be seen as deserved winners, but a 3-0 scoreline flattered his side and then some.
Two players in particular who didn’t impress a certain Souness however, proved Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana, Yes, you read that right.
With the entire England squad at the mercy of his Sunday Times column, the 63-year-old slammed two of the three goal scorers. Moreover, both sport the colours of Liverpool, the club for whom Souness racked up in excess of 300 appearances.
The Scot penned: “As we saw with his goal, Sturridge has that quality, but what he does not have, and which all successful teams want, is a work ethic.
“Sturridge is 27 now and I would suggest he’s not going to fulfil his potential.”
Therefore, despite being impressed with the goal, Souness believes Sturridge’s blasé attitude might be holding him back. Lallana was on the receiving end of similarly merciless treatment also:
“Lallana is 28 and has to get in double figures as a goalscorer each season to become a complete attacking midfielder. Some get away with murder now, saying,
“I’m an attacking midfielder but not a goalscorer.” That’s not right. “You have to be scoring and supplying goals in the final third, playing the killer passes.”
You’d think that with Liverpool top of the Premier League and both players having scored in England’s biggest win over Scotland for over 40 years, Sturridge and Lallana would receive nothing but praise. Clearly not.
Nevertheless, the Sky Sports pundit does raise a number of important points and there is definitely room for the pair to improve.
That being said, given Liverpool’s form this season, opting for more of the same wouldn’t be the worst of decisions.
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