England looked like they have been suffering from a few defensive problems in recent games, conceding 5 goals in two matches against Czech Republic and Kosovo. Hary Maguire admitted that it was probably down to lower confidence with a few of the defenders having some difficult times in the Premier League with their domestic clubs.
They needed a big result in their next game to get their confidence back and that’s exactly what they did. The game was making the news for all the wrong reasons with some shameful behaviour from the Bulgaria fans that almost got the game abandoned, but on the pitch it was a dominant and defensively strong performance from England, the scoreline reading 6-0 at full-time.
On the pitch it was the perfect response to the Bulgaria fans, and to the recent defensive issues. At the other end Raheem Sterling shone again, while Rashford, Barkley and Kane also made the scoresheet.
The most exciting thing about Southgate’s team is that he does what he said he would. If you play well domestically you get a chance, and if you impress for England you can be included in the starting 11.
Chilwell impressed me when I saw him a couple of years ago in Toulon in a young Engeland team where Southgate was the coach. He was full of praise for the new talents coming when we spoke. Now England are doing what they said they would. Giving Mings his debut and bringing in Trippier who is developing even better now that he has Premier League and La Liga experience.
The bigger picture was for Sterling, Kane and Rashford to score again. These guys are living to score every week and whenever they’re not we quickly question them because their game performance has been so good that we get more critical.
Overall though it’s an exciting time for England, and if Southgate can build on his team’s performances at the World Cup they will be a real contender at the Euros next summer. There are new exciting talents breaking through, like Jadon Sancho who has been one of the most exciting players in the Bundesliga in the last few season.
When you look at the Under 21’s you can also see just how good Hudson-Odoi and Phil Foden are are that level. The U21s beat Austria 5-1 to maintain their 100% winning start to Euro qualification, and if these players will keep improving it’s an exciting prospect for England at future tournaments. And I’m sure most of them will get better and go onto be some of the top players of their generation.
Foden is one of those great young players that I hope will not just be spoken about as a great young talent, but one that is showing he is ready to go all the way. I like the confidence and intelligence he brings to the game.
That is why I hope he will get more full games in the first team just like his mate Tammy Abraham. He has been given the chance at Chelsea and has taken it so serious that he is the one that is starting week in week out. I just think when you’re young and ready they need to let you go all the way so you can keep developing, because hearing you’re a great talent can only go for so long. #mmlove