Foden once again started for England on Monday, as Walker replaced Stones after what looked like a hamstring injury. Worrying for the blues, and exactly why Pep dragged in Akanji.
England faced Germany at Wembley on Monday night in another poor performance. Whilst the performance was an improvement on the display against Italy, there were some glaring concerns.
Southgate insists on a 5-2-3 formation under the pretence of 3-4-3 with the RB and LB playing as wingbacks.
What this formation leads to is a lack of control over a game, lack of creativity and connection to the front 3 – who often find themselves dropping deep to get on the ball.
It had been over 9 hours since England scored a goal from open play, and we don’t need to be football analysts to understand why that would be.
There are the counterattack opportunities that fall to England. However, it is the lack of creativity again which means that the front 3 must come so deep to create chances, that no one is able to get forward fast enough for.
There is one player that could change all of that. One player that could dictate from midfield in a way that would allow a front 3 to remain in position.
Not only is Foden England’s most creative forward, but he’s also the best passer of the ball, with the best vision. Bringing him into midfield would allow him to create chances and free up the front 3.
He’s the missing link between the back line and the front line – a desperate flaw in Southgate’s system.
This would mean a change in formation, a 4-3-3. With a large selection of defenders, most of which play in a back 4, there is no reason that this couldn’t work – with good coaching.
Foden was taken off not long after the 60-minute mark. When Germany went on to score their second through another Maguire boo boo, a counterattack that saw Havertz finish with a nice strike.
Germany scored their first through City’s own Mr Whippy, Ilkay Gundogan. The deal was that he can make the scousers cry, not England.
Luke Shaw managed to pull one back for home side in the 71st minute. With a goal from Mount just 3 minutes later to take the game 2-2.
A nasty foul on Bellingham inside the Germany box resulted in an England penalty taken by captain Harry Kane who slotted it away. The lead didn’t last long after a Pope error led to a tap in, giving Havertz his second of the night.
This result came off the back of some really poor Germany defending and will take away the spotlight from the issues that remain the same.
My England starting XI: Pickford, TAA, Stones, Maguire, Chilwell, Rice, Mount, Foden, Saka, Grealish, Kane.
Packed of creative players; players that are comfortable on the ball, and players that can control the rhythm and tempo of a game. Do you agree?
One thing is for sure, we will be looking forward to our City boys playing more exciting and well-coached football at the weekend, with the Manchester Derby. Keep your eye out for my predicted line-up.