Breaking News: England get job done but only two stars give Gareth Southgate Euro 2024 dilemma

England get job done but only two stars give Gareth Southgate Euro 2024 dilemma

ENGLAND 3-0 BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: In the Three Lions’ penultimate warm-up for Euro 2024, goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Kane, and Cole Palmer (pen) completed an unspectacular victory.

Not every performance was meant to make the rest of Europe shudder.

However, in terms of warm-up friendlies, it ultimately worked for England, even though it required an hour and a VAR call to get things going. With the crucial goal and his signature celebration—rubbing his arms to warm himself because he was freezing cold from the penalty spot—Cole Palmer marked his first start for England.

Palmer may have given Gareth Southgate some serious food for thought following his incredible and productive season for Chelsea. Palmer is in enough form to put some pressure on the starting lineup, but he looks certain to make the final 26-man roster.

After a hit-or-miss first half, Trent Alexander-Arnold had a brilliant second half and may have passed his midfield audition. Harry Kane then completed the scoring with a late third to give the scoreline the appearance of a hammering, even though at times it felt more like a training session.

Alexander-Arnold sprayed the ball around early in the match and appeared to be a viable option in deep midfield with Declan Rice when the tournament got underway. In all honesty, though, we only really learned that this was the more experimental of the two warm-up matches, and that Friday night’s match against Iceland at Wembley should be a more fitting farewell.

In a dull first half, England manager Gareth Southgate may have hoped for a little more from his players, but in all likelihood, this was a far cry from the squad that will take on Serbia in their opening Group A match on June 10. In all likelihood, only Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier, and Marc Guehi appear to be lock to start, with the latter probably starting if Harry Maguire is sidelined.

As time ran out, Southgate called on the big names, but Eberechi Eze took a chance. He displayed some nice touches on the left wing, and he likely possesses the strength and technical ability to play inside as well, giving England another midfield option. When England’s big players are on the field, they look like a completely different team than they did in the first half, which was boring and produced little. Instead, England improved and became more dominant.

Nikola Vasilj denied Ollie Watkins and the Bosnia & Herzegovina goalkeeper smartly stopped Ezri Konsa with his legs before the half, giving England hardly a chance. But perhaps a team meeting and motivation boost at halftime was effective because England looked sharper, more dangerous, and pinned their opponents back after the restart.

On the hour, the breakthrough occurred. And how much do you adore VAR? When it benefits England in this way, who in the world would want to scrap it? After a check, the video assistant saw Benjamin Tahirovic’s push on Ezri Konsa, which Norwegian referee Rohit Saggi missed.

When the penalty was called, Kane was about to enter the game and you could see him laughing, eager to accept the call. But Palmer took his place and calmly slotted home.

England was in charge now. Even though poor old Palmer was hooked immediately after scoring, they suddenly had much more creativity and invention when they brought on Kane, Jack Grealish, and James Maddison among a plethora of substitutes.


About the author


Leave a Comment