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Chris Waddle: Bold Changes Needed for England’s Success

Southgate’s Selections Under Scrutiny: A Deep Dive into Chris Waddle’s Analysis

Gareth Southgate’s choices for England’s starting eleven have come under intense criticism, most notably from former England star Chris Waddle. His recent interview with Genting Casino sheds light on what he perceives as fundamental flaws in the current squad’s setup. Waddle’s insights are a call for a more daring and dynamic approach, something he believes is sorely missing in the current campaign.

Waddle’s Take on England’s Starting Eleven

Chris Waddle has not minced words about his dissatisfaction with the current England lineup. “I don’t think the problem is with Gareth Southgate’s substitutions, it’s with the starting line-up. This starting eleven is not doing it for me. Individually, most of the performances have been below average, the players need to look at themselves and their individual performances.”

Waddle’s main contention lies with Southgate’s initial choices. He argues that some players simply do not belong in the starting eleven and calls for a shift in strategy. “I wouldn’t have picked several of these players to begin with. I would like to see England be more positive, taking the game to the opposition. There are too many disjointed parts to the team at the moment.”

Advocating for Bold Decisions

Waddle urges Southgate to embrace boldness in his selections, similar to his decision to leave out high-profile players like Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford. “We’ve seen Gareth be bold with the squad that he took – it was brave to leave the likes of Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford behind, so be bold with the players you’re picking.”

One significant change Waddle advocates is the inclusion of Jude Bellingham alongside Declan Rice in midfield. “I think it’s time to play Bellingham alongside Declan Rice. It’s something a lot of people have been calling for pre-tournament, me included. He’s got everything that you would look for in a midfielder – he can play box-to-box – so put him there.”

Moreover, Waddle sees a need for pace and directness on the wings, suggesting Anthony Gordon as the ideal candidate. “After what I’ve seen so far, we’re crying out for some pace on the left wing and the best option to provide that is Anthony Gordon. He’s so direct and he’ll look to beat his fullback.”

The Need for Variety and Risk

A recurring theme in Waddle’s analysis is the lack of variety and risk in England’s play. “We’re not stretching teams. Everything is easy for the opposition to deal with because nobody is willing to run off the ball. All the players want the ball to their feet.”

In Waddle’s view, the team’s current style is too predictable and safe. He calls for a more adventurous approach where players are encouraged to take risks. “It’s good to have some variety in your play, everything currently is so one dimensional. It’s slow. It’s very safe. There’s no risk involved. You can’t win football matches without risk.”

Addressing the Pressure

Addressing the comments from Declan Rice and Gareth Southgate about the pressure the players feel, Waddle points out that the pressure is affecting their performance. “I think that all the players are playing within themselves. It’s safety first. These players take more risks playing for their clubs than they do in an England shirt, so maybe that’s what Declan Rice meant when he said that the players put too much pressure on themselves.”

Waddle believes Southgate needs to shift his messaging to instil more confidence and freedom in his players. “Gareth Southgate must be positive. He needs to be positive tactically and he needs to be positive with the messages that he gives to the players off the pitch and with the media.”

The Case for Cole Palmer

The exclusion of Cole Palmer from the starting lineup is another point of contention for Waddle. He sees Palmer as a flair player who can bring creativity and unpredictability to the team. “Palmer is a flair player. England have always struggled to build around flair players – we like hard-working, functional players.”

Waddle draws on his own experiences to highlight the difficulties flair players face in the national team setup. “Getting the best out of magicians has been a major problem for England for as long as I can remember. We assign flair players roles and instructions that go against their natural instincts, and we’re seeing that with Phil Foden at this tournament.”

Waddle argues that Palmer’s talent and statistics warrant a starting position. “At Chelsea, Palmer played with a free role. He had a spectacular season in terms of his goals and assists – his numbers were the best in Europe for a midfielder – and he hasn’t seen a minute of action.”

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