England exit Qatar with familiar question: Where’s the talent?


Al Khor, Qatar — It’s becoming a recurring nightmare England, luka modric In 2018, Marco Verratti Euro 2020 final and now antoine griezmann, Players who can steer the rhythm of the game with the ball at their feet are regularly prying the Three Lions out of major tournaments.

and world champion Francethank you for 2-1 victory with goals from Al Bayt Stadium on aurelian tchoumeni And Olivier GiroudEngland became the latest side to be sent.

This time, Gareth Southgate’s team have summoned the spirit to at least make their World Cup quarter-final comeback les blues After going one goal behind. against Croatia 2018 in Russia and Italy At Euro 2020, England had the edge and the momentum and lost both, with Modric clinching the game for Croatia in the semi-finals in Moscow and Verratti helping Italy turn the tide at Wembley 18 months ago.

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But at Al Bayt, Choumeini’s opener harry kane Penalty, England could never find a solution to the problem that was being presented by Griezmann.

Before the game, all talk was about how England would hold on kilian mbappe, the five-goal leader in the race for the Golden Boot, but Mbappe is all about speed and flashes of brilliance. Griezmann is the one who sets the pace, and England have allowed him to occupy pockets between midfield and attack.

this was it Atletico Madrid A pinpoint cross from the midfielder’s left that set up Giroud’s 78th-minute header made it 2–1, and proved to be the decisive blow. Kane’s missed penalty, which he skidded over the crossbar, would have let England level, but it would have summed up his side’s painstaking approach if they had taken two spot kicks to take the game back into extra time.

From open play, it was the same old England: slow, sideways passes, predictable moves, crosses into the penalty area. Yes, they let it go, but teams with such basic gameplans only thrive in major tournaments, so here England are preparing to go home again.

This could change in two ways ahead of Euro 2024 and the World Cup two years later. One, a player emerges who is clearly an England playmaker that he is given a place in the team, or two. The managerial philosophy changes – either Southgate’s or that of his successor if Southgate decides to step down after six years – and a player is offered the chance to become the Three Lions’ Griezmann.

Phil Foden could play a role. Manchester City The player has had a good World Cup, presenting a potent attacking threat in most games, but against France, he was wasted on the left wing.

Had Southgate been bold enough to pocket Foden between Kane and midfield, he might have been playing without Jordan Henderson as well as handbrake Declan RiceThe 23-year-old could hurt France the way Griezmann hurt England. Pep Guardiola has given Foden the freedom to play that role at times for City, but at the Etihad, he is surrounded by better technical players in a ball-dominating team, so doing so for England will be a different challenge.

Foden, however, is England’s future with the 19-year-old Jude Bellingham, However, the problem with England is that the future never comes. Today matters. They can’t continue to throw the ball forward for the next tournament two years down the line.

If foden is not the solution, maybe james madison Now he should be given a chance to play as England’s number 10 leicester city The midfielder was called out of the international jungle by Southgate to be named in England’s 26-man squad, but an injury forced Maddison back on arrival in Qatar and he did not get a kick out of the tournament.

Having been capped just once by Southgate, there is a feeling the manager is not stupidly sold on Maddison. the same can be said about Jack Grealish, who has been nothing more than an occasional substitute in this World Cup. They both have their flaws, but then so does Griezmann, yet France coach Didier Deschamps prefers to emphasize the positives with the former. barcelona player.

Southgate also often fell back on the safe option; did he really need Henderson as well as Rice and Bellingham against Tchoumeni and Adrien Rabiot, It’s all about preference, and Southgate’s tendency to be risk-averse rather than luck favoring the Braves.

Even though Kane would have scored his second penalty to take the game into extra time, who knows how it would have played out? England could have won the game and booked a semi-final against MoroccoIn which he would have been a strong contender.

But without talent and creativity in the middle of the pitch, England again found themselves wanting. They are caught in a vicious cycle, so as they go to Euro 2024, the same questions are being asked of them.

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