HomeEuro 2024EnglandAlan Shearer: Trent Out & Gordon In vs Denmark?

Alan Shearer: Trent Out & Gordon In vs Denmark?

England’s Positive Start in Euro Championships: An Analysis

A Clean Sheet and a Win: England’s Strong Start

England’s victory in their opening game of the European Championship brought a collective sigh of relief to fans and pundits alike. As highlighted by Alan Shearer in his insightful interview with BetFair, the importance of a strong start cannot be overstated, especially given England’s historical struggles in initial matches.

“I think if we look at the bigger picture, it was a clean sheet and a win. Notoriously England have been poor in the first games over the years in European Championships. Before the other night, we’d only won one in the last 10.”

Shearer’s observations are spot-on. In the broader context of the tournament, the initial performance by England should be seen as a step forward. When juxtaposed with the stumbles of other powerhouses like Italy and Belgium, England’s victory, though not flawless, shines brighter.

Tactical Adjustments Needed: Shearer’s Recommendations

Despite the win, there were tactical nuances that Shearer felt required addressing. The deployment of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield raised eyebrows and, while functional, it did not fully exploit his strengths. Shearer suggested:

“I wouldn’t call it a big concern, but the more pressing thing is what happened to Trent in midfield, I thought he did alright without being spectacular. Is Phil Foden going to continue to play on the left-hand side?”

His tactical insights are compelling. Shearer’s call for Anthony Gordon or Eberechi Eze to be considered for the left side against Denmark is rooted in the need for balance and dynamism. The interplay between Foden and a right-footed left-back like Trippier may indeed limit Foden’s effectiveness, an aspect that warrants careful consideration by Gareth Southgate.

Phil Foden’s Role: Maximising Potential

Phil Foden’s positioning was another critical point raised. Shearer believes Foden’s roaming style is better suited to a central attacking role:

“I would play Bellingham alongside Rice and Foden as the 10, which is where he wants to play. I don’t think that would be a problem at all, you’re playing Bellingham with Rice so you free up that left side for someone who can run in behind, whether that would be Eze or Gordon.”

This adjustment could provide Foden with the freedom to influence the game more directly, while still maintaining the width through other players. It’s a strategy that could unleash England’s full attacking potential against more compact defences.

Confidence Against Denmark: A Predictable Win

Looking ahead to the match against Denmark, Shearer’s confidence is palpable:

“I think when you look at Denmark, who they are and how they play, I would view it very much like I did the first game for England, I would expect us to win the game and build their confidence. It won’t be easy but it would be a game I would expect England to win.”

This optimism is underpinned by a pragmatic understanding of England’s capabilities and the momentum gained from their opening win. Shearer’s expectation of a 2-0 or 3-0 victory underscores the belief in England’s ability to improve and dominate.

Harry Kane’s Assurance: A Goal Scorer’s Patience

Despite a quieter performance from Harry Kane, Shearer’s faith in the England captain remains unshaken:

“As a centre forward, I wouldn’t be too concerned when you’re not having touches of the ball… I’m not worrying about Harry Kane, he’s experienced enough, he’s played at this level, he’s won a Golden Boot in the World Cup. He will score goals, I have no doubt about it.”

Kane’s ability to impact games with minimal touches is well-documented, and his track record at major tournaments speaks volumes. Shearer’s reassurances are a timely reminder of Kane’s class and reliability.

Conclusion: Building on Positives

England’s performance, while not perfect, laid a solid foundation for the tournament. Shearer’s analysis provides a balanced perspective, highlighting both areas of strength and aspects needing refinement. With the tactical adjustments suggested and the confidence in key players like Kane and Foden, England looks poised to make a deep run in the competition. As Shearer aptly puts it:

“You’ve won the game, you look at the positives and you ask why things happened, how things happened, you look at the negatives and look at how you can improve.”

England’s journey has just begun, and with thoughtful adjustments and continued belief, they can indeed build on these positives and aim for glory.

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