Southgate’s trust issues to cost England at World Cup too – he won’t take risks

Gareth Southgate should trust his players more. But leopards don’t change their spots so expect more of the same at the World Cup.

Gareth didn’t trust his defenders so he went with a back five and two holding midfielders for the Euro final.

But with Mason Mount in there as well, who is a hard worker and tracks back, we had eight defensive players on the pitch.

So it’s a big ask to then go and ask Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling to win you the game against the best team in the tournament.

Gareth doesn’t trust his defenders. John Stones and Harry Maguire were outstanding at this tournament.

But if Gareth trusted them to play in a four in the biggest games, he would have played a back four in the final.

The trouble is, if you want to get over the hump and win a major tournament you have got to do more than we did.

He needs to start trusting his defenders and trusting his attacking players enough to get more of them on the pitch.

I saw that he said after the final that the aim is to get more of his attacking players out there at the World Cup, and that they weren’t all ready to play every game yet.

But I’m sorry. I don’t see that. So Bukayo Saka isn’t ready to be a regular, but he’s ready to take the final kick in a shoot-out? It doesn’t make sense.

And that’s why I think it will be more of the same in Qatar.

Who should eventually succeed Gareth Southgate as England manager? Let us know in the comments section.

Pep Guardiola isn’t going to just abandon tiki-taka passing football because Manchester City lost a Champions League final.

So I can’t see Gareth Southgate abandoning what’s got him this far. He’s played defensive football and got to a semi-final and a final.

I would like to see Jack Grealish play every game in Qatar. But I bet he doesn’t. Gareth wouldn’t even trust him to take a penalty.

Players like Jack win you tournaments. They have that X-factor. Other countries build around them.

But can we get those players on the pitch with the defenders we’ve got? Gareth obviously doesn’t think so.

I thought Italy were outstanding in the final and they’ve won this tournament the hard way. They beat Belgium, Spain and England. Fair play.

But we had them on the ropes for 15 minutes. We were leading. It was a free swing. Go and get the second goal. Take a risk. But we didn’t.

Italy never once lost their composure, and they found a way to win. It was just disappointing for England.

And Gareth lost the plot with the pens. You cannot leave a 19-year-old who has never taken one in a big game with the last kick.

It’s okay saying young players are fearless and less likely to miss. But there’s nothing like that walk to the spot. Fearless goes out the window.

I took a pen in a World Cup last 16 game. Everyone remembers David Batty’s miss in that shoot-out because he went last.

No-one remembers that Paul Ince missed, because his was in the middle. That’s where Saka’s should have been too. I felt for him.

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Harry Kane will not be impressed by Tottenham appointing Nuno as their manager.

But he’s not the type to down tools and get frustrated. If he stays he will give Spurs everything. He will turn up.

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The last three months for Nuno at Wolves were an absolute disaster. They got beat 4-0 at home by Burnley. They only won three of their last 13 games.

That’s not going to inspire Harry Kane’s confidence much us it?

But I do laugh when people have a go at Daniel Levy for taking so long to appoint a new manager.

He’s just saved his club hundreds of thousands of pounds in wages they would have had to pay to a coach for sitting around for weeks.

That pays for a lot of the people behind the scenes. And I think Kane will stay because Levy is strong enough and ruthless enough to make him.

I’m not sure there’s a club out there who can afford him. That’s why you’re seeing stories about players being offered in part-exchange.

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Rafa Benitez is a phenomenal appointment for Everton and I’m flabbergasted their fans aren’t doing cartwheels about it.

I’d be dancing in the streets! He’s one of the best managers around. It’s Liverpool fans who should be going mental.

He told them he loved the club and now he’s managing their rivals. That wouldn’t sit well with me if I was a Liverpool fan.

I can’t understand Everton fans who don’t like this appointment. Who did they think they would get?

If you’re a Tottenham fan you’re thinking: ‘Why haven’t we got him?!?’

Benitez did a great job at Newcastle just to keep them up. But he’s worked at the biggest clubs in the world and I think he believes he can be successful at Everton.

He thinks he can do something special. He wouldn’t have taken the job otherwise.

But you’re only as good as your players, and they need to back him in the transfer market. They need to deliver for him.

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