Sport Holland says Southgate can't go all-out attack against Croatia
MARTIN SAMUEL: I can't argue with picking the Fab Four!
MARTIN SAMUEL: He makes it very hard for you sometimes, Gareth Southgate. All that nodding in agreement going into a tournament. Where is the tension, the disgruntlement, the rows? He was at it again on Tuesday.Four right backs. Count them. Four! Completely lop-sided, totally imbalanced and exactly what had been advocated on these pages as far back as April 2.Throw us a bone here, man. What’s the point in an England manager who keeps doing exactly what you want him to do? Southgate was that man in 2018, too. Picked Ashley Young at left back, left out Jack Wilshere and Jonjo Shelvey. Check, check and check.
England assistant manager Steve Holland says Gareth Southgate will not be naming a ‘fantasy football’ starting XI against Croatia on Sunday.
Although England have personnel problems in defence, they have an abundance of attacking talent to choose from with the likes of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish all with realistic hopes of starting at Wembley.
Southgate has been urged by a number of leading pundits to fit as many of his forward-thinking stars as possible into his starting XI.
But Holland insists that simply isn’t realistic, saying: ‘It is nice to be involved in a team where so many people have got an interest and a view. I would say only this: going back to the World Cup in 2018, for example, Argentina, they had Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Lionel Messi. Mauro Icardi didn’t make the squad.
The big decisions Southgate is mulling over with Euro 2020 looming
Gareth Southgate's headache over his England squad selection has been replaced by an even more thumping one over his strongest line-up for Euro 2020. We know the 26 players who will shoulder the nation's hopes this summer but deciding that could well prove to be the easy bit for the Three Lions boss.As Southgate said after Tuesday evening's announcement, he wouldn't swap his squad of many talents for any other competing at the tournament.
‘So you have an amazing array of talent, but they went out in the round of 16 averaging three goals against every game. This is not fantasy football. It is nice to play that game, but you can’t just throw four or five players together.
‘What that team showed is that if you try to cram too many in you don’t even get the best of the individuals — if you play with fewer, they can provide.
‘So our challenge is clear, we have to find the right balance.
‘That will differ from game to game and I think that will look different in the first minute from how it does in the 90th. And those guys who walk off the pitch in the 90th minute are every bit as important, if not more important, than those who walk out before the national anthems.
‘I think it is a really healthy situation that we have and as we progress through, the team that starts the first game for the successful teams is never the team that starts at the end.’
England to practice three at the back ahead of Euro 2020 opener
Having recently switched to a back four, Southgate will look at going back to the tried and tested 3-4-3 in training ahead of next Sunday's Euros opener against Croatia at Wembley.Having recently switched to a back four, Southgate will look at going back to the tried and tested 3-4-3 — which helped England to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 — in training ahead of next Sunday’s Euros opener against Croatia.
England’s preparations for the tournament have suffered major disruption due to Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea players’ participation in European finals.
But while admitting missing 11 players for part of their pre-tournament training camp is hardly ideal, Holland says their involvement in the Europa League and Champions League finals is a double-edged sword.
‘From a selfish perspective of having all the players together from day one, it’s far from ideal. It would have been better to have no teams in the final,’ he adds.
‘But there is another side to that. To win, which we know is the challenge, we need players with experience of big matches and the Champions League final is about the biggest match you can play in.
‘So to have seven of our squad in a game like that will provide a benefit in the overall scheme of things.’
Carrie Fisher to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022 .
'Star Wars' star Carrie Fisher and 'Aquaman' actor Jason Momoa are among the stars set to be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of the 2022 honours.The Walk of Fame Selection Panel have announced the 2022 honourees for the coveted pink stars, and it has been confirmed that the late ‘Star Wars’ legend – who passed away in 2016 – as well as ‘Aquaman’ actor Jason, have made the cut.