Will Southgate’s tactics protect England’s defense at Euro 2024?

Getting ready England national team To appear for the eleventh time in its history in the European Nations Cup, when it participates in Euro 2024, which is being held in Germany.

England is searching for its first title European Nations CupThe Three Lions team had never before succeeded in winning the title, which they came close to in the last Euro 2020 edition, before losing to Italy in the final.

The England national team has a large group of wonderful players, especially on the offensive side, led by Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Coler Palmer and Ivan Toney, and even in the midfield there are brilliant names such as Jude Bellingham, but the England national team’s defense remains the weakest link. .

In the last five matches played by the English national team, between friendly and official matches since November of last year, the English national team conceded 5 goals in 5 matches, while scoring 6 goals.

In the major matches, the England national team’s defense was not as solid as expected, as it was defeated by Brazil in a friendly (1-0), and before that, it tied with North Macedonia at the end of the Euro qualifiers (1-1), and it also tied with Belgium (2-2) in a friendly, and before The loss to Iceland (1-0) resulted in only one win at the expense of Bosnia and Herzegovina (0-3), a team ranked 74th in the world.

High life expectancy

There is one thing in common in the England national team’s defense, which is the high average age of the players, as there are John Stones (30 years old), Lewis Dunk (32 years old), Kyle Walker (34 years old), Kieran Terpier (33 years old), and Joe Gomez (27 years old). Luke Shaw (28).

While there are only 3 players under the age of 27, they are Ezri Konsa (26 years old), who does not have much international experience, as he has played 4 matches with the Three Lions national team so far, and the rookie Mark Jehi (23 years old), while the last is Trent Alexander-Arnold ( 25 years old), but Southgate does not see him as a right-back, and likes to rely on him in midfield more!

In the friendly match between Iceland and England, the only goal scored by Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson shows the extent to which the England national team’s defense is affected by the idea of ​​a high age ratio, as there are 6 players over the age of 28 years.

This goal shows the clear weakness in the Three Lions’ defense, as Phil Foden did not run in the middle of the field behind Hakon Arnar Haraldsson, who passed the ball to Thorsteinsson in a shot in which Kyle Walker moved out of his position, as was the case with Kobe Maino, who did not catch the ball, and John slowed down. Stones took the lead to block the attack, which eventually ended with a goal against Aaron Ramsdale.

Although the match was friendly in the end, it indicates that the Three Lions’ defense is not at its best, and there are questions about who will play with John Stones in the heart of defence, assuming that the Manchester City defender, who suffered an ankle injury during the match, will be fit enough to participate in the match. Euro 2024, and with the decline in the performance of Lewis Dunk and Joe Gomez, Mark Guehi may be the closest to playing in the heart of defence.

Walker, Trippier or Arnold?

In the right-back position, Southgate has the trio of Kieran Terpier, Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold, the latter of whom Southgate does not want to employ in this position, as he only participated in (10) of the (25) matches he played with England as a right-back.

England national team trio Harry Kane, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Winwin

In the absence of Arnold as a right-back, this position remains a clear weakness, and it is the side from which Iceland’s goal came in the last friendly match, and Walker was unable to run to catch the ball, and he was among the lowest rated in the match with 6.8 out of 10 .

Is Trippier the solution?

When Kieran Trippier was chosen as the starting left-back for England, it was met with astonishment at the start of the Euro qualifiers, and after three years the Newcastle United player has not performed his best in this position.. So what will Southgate do? In light of doubts about the readiness of Luke Shaw, who is suffering from an injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, England player (facebook/EnglandTeam)

The English coach may resort to a somewhat surprising solution, and place Walker as a left-back, to compensate for the absence of Luke Shaw, allowing Alexander-Arnold to play on the other side in his natural position in the right corridor.

Even if Southgate resorts to the quartet (Kyle Walker, Mark Jehy, John Stones, Arnold), he may cross to safety in the match against Serbia in the first round, but this will not be the case against a better competitor in the more difficult matches, especially in the knockout stages.

Southgate’s tactics may protect England’s defence

The weakness of the English national team’s defense is not new to coach Southgate, however, this did not prevent them from reaching at least the quarter-finals in the 2018 World Cup, the 2022 World Cup, and Euro 2020.

According to “EIGHTH“They conceded fewer goals in those three tournaments than other teams, such as France, Spain and Germany in the three aforementioned tournaments, on a per 90-minute basis.

Southgate may resort to defensive insurance from midfield, relying on Declan Rice in depth, and involving Arnold alongside him, to help him deliver the ball forward, in light of the presence of big stars such as Billingham, Foden, Palmer and Harry Kane, or perhaps he may resort to a plan (3-5-2). ) or (3-4-2-1); Or even (3-4-3) in order to appear better defensively.

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