Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness has slammed England manager Gareth Southgate for his pragmatic approach in their clash against Wales at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Three Lions won the game 3-0 on November 30 after a stunning second half.
England beat Wales 3-0 to book their place in the last 16 as 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 𝐁 winners.
However, the game was goalless at half-time with both sides failing to create clear goalscoring chances.
Southgate decided to start Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford on either side of Harry Kane in attack. In midfield, he chose a conservative trio of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, and Jordan Henderson.
Souness believes that the England manager should’ve picked James Maddison or Mason Mount in midfield. In his column for the Daily Mail, he wrote:
“It was a game crying out for James Maddison and Mason Mount — two of England’s most dynamic and creative players — but what did we get? A midfield built not for creativity but for pragmatism, with Jordan Henderson playing further up the field and Declan Rice sitting.”
Souness also predicted that we might not see the Three Lions go all out in attack in the knockouts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup either. He wrote:
“Don’t expect to see England minus the handbrake any time soon unless they’re chasing a game. Don’t expect to see a great deal of Mount, or anything of Maddison.”
“That’s a huge shame because Gareth has a great array of creative players at his disposal. Players such as Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Maddison are instinctive. For them, the picture in their head is forever changing when they’re on the ball.”
England’s 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign so far
Despite being pragmatic at times, the Three Lions are one of the highest-scoring teams at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar after the group stages. They have scored nine goals, including six against Iran and three against Wales.
They began their campaign in Group B by beating Iran 6-2 and then played out a goalless draw against the USA. With qualification secured, Southgate made a few changes to his side that beat Wales 3-0.
They topped their FIFA World Cup group and will now take on Senegal on Sunday (December 4) in the Round of 16.
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