I said before the finals started that Kane shouldn't have been appointed captain and last night proved that. He didn't rally the team and bark orders at them to get their fingers out during the second half. He just kinda potted about the pitch. He's not a leader.
Awful display from England last night. The amount of chances that went to waste were shocking. Had we been playing a better team we would have been destroyed. The only player I was impressed with was Trippier. Also, what the hell was Alli doing on the pitch for so long? He was clearly injured in the first half and should never have started the second. He looked sluggish throughout the game. Lastly, Sterling shouldn't start the next game. He had a couple of chances that he wasted, kept playing out of position and wasn't making the runs that needed to be made.
The pen given was fair in my eyes. You can put your body between the ball and the opposition but you can't go swinging your arms back, which is exactly what Walker done. We were certainly robbed in terms of decisions, though. We had 2 clear pens waved away. Both times Kane was dragged to the floor. In the first incident Kane was practically speared. Shocking calls.
What's annoying about this victory is the way the English media is harping on about it as if it was so great victory and a full deserved win. It was nothing of the sort and the team and manager should be called out on such a performance. We were VERY lucky to get all 3 points and if we play like that against Belgium then we will be decimated.
Agree with Kane not being a suitable fit for captain. He might be the best traditional No. 9 in football at the moment, but all that means is that he is good at putting the ball in the back of the net, not leading a team, as you rightly said. Some might argue that players like Ronaldo captain a nation, so why can’t Kane? Well, as selfish as Ronaldo might sometimes be at club level, he puts the team well beyond his ego when it comes to international football, and drops back deep plenty of times, playing in a free-roaming role as opposed to as an out-and-out striker. He’s also ridiculously fit, and thus can be a striker who drops deep and still outruns half of the opposition. Kane looked very sloppy tired tonight when he wasn’t scoring goals.
As for the penalty given, I do think that it was a penalty. There’s not much to it, but it’s very clumsy of Walker: there is no reason why he should be raising his arm at that angle in that particular situation, seeing as he really should be jumping for the ball, and he was clearly obstructing the opposition player from attacking the ball.
That being said, the two penalties not given to us makes me wonder if referees (on the pitch and off it) — or maybe just this one in particular — are becoming somewhat reluctant to award more penalties with VAR, especially after the amount that we’ve already seen awarded in the opening round of the group stage and after having awarded one earlier in the match, because those were very clear penalties from the replays that we got to see. I don’t think that Brazil’s argument against the Switzerland goal last night was particularly strong, but that was another case of the referee seemingly brushing off (judging from body language and his reaction) players’ requests to at least take another look at the situation.
Maybe a challenge system like the one in tennis is needed for situations like these, but instead of having a limited amount for the whole game, like three in a whole set in that sport, you have three opportunities to have a challenge proven wrong. If you have three challenges proven to be wrong, then you can no longer challenge for the remainder of the game. Or something like that. Hey, I’m not a corrupt FIFA official, so I don’t know
Anyways, back to tonight’s game: the formation has me concerned going forwards. Tunisia and Panama were always going to be our easier games, so an attacking, 3-5-2 seems warranted, but, by the time Belgium comes around in our final group game, the players will already be accustomed to a formation which would surely need to be changed when against the bigger teams, such as Belgium. Makes me concerned that Southgate has completely overlooked how dominant other major teams’ attacks are, and just how weak our defence is.