Growing up, England scraped and scrapped its way through the group stages of every major tournament. Therefore, it was a bit surreal to watch them open the 2022 World Cup in such dominating fashion.
Going forward England was creative and clinical. The dynamism of Jude Bellingham and a steadfast Declan Rice in a youthful midfield . It is something both balanced and loaded in quality.
English fans back home will be in the local pub smashing back pints of Stella Artois proclaiming it is coming home. However, the fact Iran managed to score twice should raise some concerns.
Even then, Gareth Southgate blatantly disrespecting Trent Alexander-Arnold is most worrying.
The English defense was comfortable for the majority of the game. Yet, it was obvious that Iran targeted Harry Maguire’s lack of pace. Moreover, the dire performance of Kieran Trippier at right back is worthy of more discussion as the talking point of the fixture. His passing was poor. Defensively, he was shaky and his set pieces abysmal.
The right back stayed on the field for all 140 minutes of the game. This was against one of the worst World Cup teams in recent memory, yet his display was a shambles.
Gareth Southgate avoids Trent Alexander-Arnold
England boss, Gareth Southgate, recently let his feelings about Trent Alexander-Arnold well and truly known. He stated Newcastle’s Kieran Trippier is a better all-round player than the Liverpool star.
Truth is, Southgate does not rate him. He feels that what Arnold offers going forward is simply negated by his inconsistencies as a defender. He has not been shy about taking these feelings public.
This obvious lack of trust in the player must hurt. Deep down, Trent must know he would not be in Qatar at all if Reece James was healthy.
However, Gareth Southgate had the opportunity to show good faith in Trent Alexander-Arnold. Or at the very least, demonstrate the manager is willing to give him the opportunity to prove himself. Trippier was struggling on the big stage, and England was cruising to victory.
Surely, it was time to throw on the man that many believe has revolutionized the full back position. Surely, it was time to show Trent that he can make his way into the starting line-up if he works hard and performs better than his competition.
Unfortunately, he did not sense this opportunity to spread hope throughout his squad. Instead, Gareth Southgate showed once again, on a very public stage, that Trent Alexander-Arnold is only there to make up the numbers.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Sportimage
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