After a dull and disappointing scoreless draw with Scotland last night, Gareth Southgate’s England will need a win against Czech Republic in order to top their group.
The Three Lions have scored just once in their opening two fixtures in Euro 2020, they have been disappointing on the attacking front.
After the game at Wembley last night, Southgate said that the fans need to stay behind the players: “It’s a game where we didn’t hit the levels we wanted to, or need to, and have to accept whatever comes our way, I’ll have to accept whatever comes my way, I totally understand that, but what we need to do is make sure we get behind the players.”
However the manager must consider the performances of the players… Phil Foden has shown glimpses of brilliance but for the most part, he has been a passenger in the two games. Meanwhile, although Raheem Sterling was the one who grabbed the winner against Croatia, his all-round performances have been poor in both matches so far.
There are four points on the board and England are going to be going into the knockout stages unless there is a complete disaster, but they will need to look better on the offensive if they want to go deep into this tournament.
While Jack Grealish is the name on everybody’s lips, Southgate should turn to Marcus Rashford in order to add a needed spark to this English attack. The 23-year-old winger made a 16 minute cameo last night, however he replaced the man he should be working alongside in Harry Kane and was played through the middle against a deep Scotland block. Southgate should look to make the most of the tricky winger.
Rashford is the most direct player that England possess at this tournament and can make a goal out of nothing; in a tournament where there is a clear lack of tactical involvement, that is so vital.Embed from Getty Images
While Sterling attacks spaces well, he does not have the ability to then beat a man like Rashford does; the United winger also has a brilliant relationship with Luke Shaw on the left flank which was most recently shown in the friendly against Romania.
It is no secret that Luke Shaw is one of the best left-backs around when he’s looking to link-up the play in the final third, but the congestion on the left against Scotland made this difficult to do, especially since Sterling was clearly not on the same wavelength as the 25-year-old.
Sterling has been the option for Southgate to try and stretch the pitch with Kane dropping into pockets, but it hasn’t seemed to work whatsoever, bringing in Rashford should be an obvious decision for the England manager. United’s number ten has a wealthy record in an England shirt, with a goal contribution every 117 minutes for his country.
Marcus Rashford is a real goalscoring threat, while he’d also add a greater balance to the side on the left; his ability in attacking transitions must not be understated either. If England and Gareth Southgate want to go deeper into this tournament, they need a spark — they need Marcus Rashford.