Euro 2024: Southgate's stubbornness haunts England in 1-1 draw vs Denmark

England struggles to 1-1 draw against Denmark. Southgate's tactics questioned. Must-win final group game vs. Slovenia to secure progression.

Euro 2024: Southgate's stubbornness haunts England in 1-1 draw vs Denmark
Gareth Southgate's insistence on shoehorning players into unfamiliar positions could be the end of England at the 2024 Euros. (Photo credit: GOAL)


In their second group game of the ongoing 2024 Euro Championship in Germany, the Three Lions of England struggled to a 1-1 draw against Denmark, prompting many to question Gareth Southgate's competence once again.

The 1-0 win over Serbia in their opening game wasn’t convincing with an obvious squad imbalance; player selection for roles leaves too much to be desired, and, with the quality of teams in the tournament, you’re almost certain that “it’s not coming home” for England this summer.

Given Germany's impressive performance and Spain's resemblance to the team that won back-to-back Euros in 2008 and 2012, England's current performance pales in comparison, and Southgate needs to address a few concerns.

Harry Maguire's calf problems forced the selection of John Stones and Marc Guehi as the two center-backs, while Luke Shaw's injury forced Kieran Trippier to move to left-back.

There’s no logical rationale behind having a rich squad and then shoehorning players into positions. Trent Alexander Arnold is a right-back who likes to bomb forward and pick passes; this doesn’t make him worthy of a place in the midfield at a tournament like this.

Southgate typically prefers to play it safe with a double-pivot midfield, with Declan Rice as the lone number 6. Could he withdraw Jude Bellingham to the midfield and send Phil Foden to the hole as a number 10?

You saw Foden mesmerise and help Manchester City win another league title playing as a number 10, creating chances and scoring sleek goals. Why force him to the left wing, where he has been largely ineffective? Are all these little details too difficult to see?

Against Denmark, Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane were the likeliest goal outlets for England. As the 3 Lions went in search of the winner, Southgate removed the duo and brought on Oli Watkins and Eberechi Eze; that’s better left as that.

England must now win their final group game against Slovenia, or at least earn a point, but this might not guarantee them the top spot in the group, as Denmark could beat Serbia by more goals. It is delicately poised, as a loss could signal the end of their tournament if things go south elsewhere.

There’s no crime in playing players in their actual positions. Anthony Gordon, on the left, would do a better job than Foden, who should be creating from the middle. If Trent fails to secure a spot at right back, Southgate should leave him on the bench, but England's frustrations could persist.

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Footballnus | Stay updated on the latest football news, analysis and betting predictions: Euro 2024: Southgate's stubbornness haunts England in 1-1 draw vs Denmark
Euro 2024: Southgate's stubbornness haunts England in 1-1 draw vs Denmark
England struggles to 1-1 draw against Denmark. Southgate's tactics questioned. Must-win final group game vs. Slovenia to secure progression.
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