Football Insights – Darren Anderton
With the Euro Championships in full swing and England building up to their Last 16 clash with Germany, former England international Darren Anderton gives his exclusive insights into England’s Euro chances and the massive Last 16 clash with Germany.
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Darren Anderton On England v Germany
What do you make of England's chances against Germany? Do they have the quality to knock out such a strong team or is this the end of the road for them?
England definitely have the quality to knock the Germans out, whilst they are of course a quality team, I don’t feel they are as strong as Germany teams we’ve seen in the past. We’ve seen in the Group Stages, not least their final game against Hungary, that they are beatable.
They played well against Portugal, but I put that down in part, to what I thought was a poor set up from the Portuguese, they left themselves too open. I think England will put in a solid performance again, hit them on the counter attack and cause them all sorts of problems.
Looking at how that Group of Death went and the teams that qualified from that group, Germany are probably the team I’d have wanted to play. Yes, they always seem to find a time to win, but I believe this is a German side we can beat, without any doubt.
Have Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka played themselves into the team for the Round of 16? Who should they come in for if that is the case?
I thought Grealish and Saka were outstanding against the Czech Republic, especially Saka, I would not be surprised to see both starting against Germany, though it’s such a tough decision Gareth has to make on Foden given his quality.
Will Mason Mount find it difficult to get himself back into the team following his period of isolation?
Mason Mount, he is so unlucky to miss out, but the nature of football is so often that an unfortunate situation for one player, gives an opportunity to another who can do a good job and Saka did that – getting Man Of The Match.
I think Gareth has shown overall how highly he rates Mount, who has delivered in big games, which is a reason you’d consider bringing him back in, but I think overall, he won’t start, not helped of course by this period of isolation, away from the main group.
How much of a worry is Harry Kane's form? Does Southgate need to change something to get the best out of him? Is he droppable?
I’m not worried about Harry Kane’s form, I’m more worried about the service that he is getting. With all the attacking quality in the team, the lack of creative opportunities being created for Harry is a worry.
On the other hand, England have looked very sound defensively, which had been a concern for some going into the tournament.
We’ve taken away perhaps from our attacking qualities but become more solid, which in a tournament is not a bad thing. I don’t see a scenario in which Gareth leaves out Harry, and any replacement would likely face the same issues he has, with a lack of opportunities being created.
Harry does a lot more than just scoring goes as well, he’s terrific at linking the play, makes goals for others and I think the best of Harry is still to come at the tournament.
How impressed have you been with England's defensive displays or do you think they are yet to be tested properly?
I’ve been impressed with us defensively so far this tournament, though you have to say that we have not been truly tested yet. There were spells against Croatia where they dominated the ball, but they lacked a cutting edge up front.
Saying that England have three consecutive clean sheets in International football which is great.
I expect Gareth to once again go with two sitting midfielders to protect the defence, but that’s a side of our game that is working. Rice and Phillips have been outstanding and I expect that to continue.
Germany will definitely be the biggest test the defence has come up against.
Overall, I’m really looking forward to the game, we’ve got all the players that we need to get the right result and given the solidity I’ve seen so far from this England team, I’m expecting England to advance.