Marc Guehi Impresses at Euro 2024: Lineker & Wright’s Views

England’s Euro 2024 campaign has been a mix of highs and lows, with performances on the pitch generating a flurry of opinions from football pundits and fans alike. Central to the discussion is England defender Marc Guehi, whose stellar performances have earned him widespread acclaim. As England navigates the tournament, Gary Lineker and Ian Wright have shared their contrasting views on the team’s strategies and player choices.

Gary Lineker Applauds Marc Guehi

Gary Lineker, the renowned football pundit, has been effusive in his praise for Marc Guehi. The defender has been a standout player for England, showing exceptional skill and composure in defence. Lineker highlighted Guehi’s performance, stating, “Positives, Marc Guehi, what a performance. What made it even more special was the team were struggling… He can defend by the way.”

Guehi’s ability to remain calm under pressure and his tactical awareness have been particularly impressive. Lineker elaborated, “He’s been absolutely superb, with and without the ball. He makes a mistake and we all go he’s made a mistake. But then he gets back. He doesn’t panic, he didn’t dive in. He’s got back because he’s quick, which is really useful. He waited and chose his moment, and his timing was perfect to block it.”

Southgate’s Tactical Choices Under Scrutiny

While Guehi’s performances have been a bright spot, Gareth Southgate’s tactical decisions have faced significant criticism. The decision to play Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield has not yielded the desired results, with the team losing control of matches after taking early leads. Alexander-Arnold’s substitution for Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher in both games has sparked debate about his suitability for the midfield role.

Southgate defended his choice, describing it as an experiment in the search for a replacement for Kalvin Phillips, who was omitted from the squad. “He’s had some moments where he has delivered what we thought he would,” Southgate said of Alexander-Arnold. “We know it is an experiment – we don’t have a natural replacement for Kalvin Phillips – but we are trying some different things. At the moment, we are not flowing as we would like, that’s for sure.”

Photo: IMAGO

Ian Wright Challenges Southgate’s Midfield Experiment

Ian Wright has been vocal in his opposition to Southgate’s tactics, particularly the decision to experiment with Alexander-Arnold in midfield. Wright believes there are better-suited players for the role within the current squad. He pointed to Kobbie Mainoo and Crystal Palace’s Adam Wharton as viable alternatives, arguing that either could effectively replace Phillips.

Wright’s critique was clear: “It’s either Kobbie (Mainoo) or Wharton, but I’d probably put Wharton in there simply because he’s the closest I’ve seen to Fabian Ruiz. When I’ve seen him in the last few games for Palace at the end of the season, his calmness. He’s calm, he’s got a pass.”

Future Prospects for Guehi and England

As Euro 2024 progresses, the performances of players like Marc Guehi will be crucial to England’s success. Guehi’s consistency and defensive prowess have already made him a target for top clubs, with Chelsea and Liverpool showing interest. Crystal Palace, keen to retain their star defender, face the challenge of fending off lucrative offers.

England’s journey in the tournament continues to be closely watched, with fans and pundits eager to see if Southgate can refine his tactics and make the most of the squad’s potential. Despite the criticisms, the hope remains that England can build on their performances and make a deep run in Euro 2024.