Gareth Southgate worried about England’s reliance on Harry Kane to score goals | football news
England coach Gareth Southgate has expressed his concern over his team’s dependence on Harry Kane after his failure to score against Italy at Molino.
The goalless draw leaves them goalless after three Nations League games and having scored just one goal of the season – Kane’s late penalty kick that turned things back against Germany.
Tammy Abraham seconded Kane in this closed match on Saturday but failed to net a single chance early on. Although Mason Mount hit the crossbar soon after and Raheem Sterling missed from close range, the goal did not come.
“We want to win games and we’re disappointed not to win,” Southgate said. “We have two or three very good chances that we have to take advantage of.
“You don’t have a lot of chances against the big teams. We’d like to create more possession that we’ve got. We’re very dependent on Harry and Raheem to achieve our goals at the moment and that’s a concern.”
Jack Grealish had a start on the left after making an impact against Germany, but Southgate indicated he only had one attempt on goal.
“I go back to what I say about all our attacking players,” he added. “This is an area we must improve if we are to advance as a team.”
Grealish’s scoring record for Manchester City was unremarkable, but Southgate may have had Mount in mind when he noted that “there are players who score regularly for their clubs” than for their country.
The Chelsea player was unable to find the net in his last 15 appearances for England and missed a golden opportunity in the first half to put England ahead at Molineux.
“We’re continuing to work on getting the balls into the right areas. Ultimately, in the attacking areas, the quality of play will be decisive. There was a lack of sharpness in those areas.”
And without Ken, this could be a real problem.
“The worry is if he’s not with you for whatever reason,” the England coach added. “But every team depends on its best players.
“France died and was buried last night and Kylian Mbappe found something. Our captain’s top scorer is exceptional. But we have to start sharing that burden.”
Southgate praises Ramsdale’s performance
England’s failure to score did not lead to defeat thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who brilliantly saved from Sandro Tonali in the first half and went on to deny Roberto Mancini’s side until the end.
“He saved the ball in an important way and was very impressive in possession,” Southgate said of the Arsenal goalkeeper’s second appearance for his country. “That’s what we hoped he would bring.”
It was not completely flawless. “There was one misplaced pass to midfield,” Southgate recalls. But his ability with the ball at his feet was a real strength. “Overall, I think the time he took, and the composure he showed, helped us build from behind.”
The return of the fans will help England
One explanation for England’s not being clinical enough was the lack of urgency in having a full stadium. “We were the dominant team in the second half. But we are back to that soulless experience we had during Covid.”
England were forced to play behind closed doors against Italy due to problems at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final against the same opponent last summer. Hungary will find a completely different Molino waiting for them on Tuesday night.
“Having a whole house here would be a huge raise for the players,” Southgate said.
“Coming here and playing in front of any fans, [it is difficult] When you press for a goal and nothing comes on the stands and the opponent is not exposed to this pressure.
“We are excited to come here on a Tuesday when the place is choppy.
“At this time, we can take advantage of this help.”
Mancini: The World Cup contenders in England
Just as it was exactly 11 months ago when Italy triumphed in the Euro 2020 final, Roberto Mancini would have been the happiest manager as his test team produced some great football at Molino.
Despite another toothless attacking display, Mancini had no doubts that England would be in a mixed position to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“England are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment, they have many, many good players,” he said.
“Maybe they are trying something different now, different situations, but I think they are one of the favorites to win the World Cup.”