Shropshire Star

Johnny Phillips: Gareth Southgate needs to send out a statement of intent

England’s draw with Denmark drew plenty of criticism and, although four points from the two games so far is all but guaranteed to be enough to see Gareth Southgate’s side through to the next stages, there were plenty of causes for concern.

England's Trent Alexander-Arnold with manager Gareth Southgate

The 1-1 draw with Denmark saw the team concede 16 shots, which is the most in a group stage game during Southgate’s reign.

The way England sat back after conceding the equaliser infuriated onlookers, too.

When control of the game needed to be secured, England regressed and allowed Denmark to come onto them time and time again.

There is often a lack of intensity to England performances in tournament football that is at odds with the way the country’s players approach the game in the Premier League.

Very rarely does the side open up and attack in numbers, instead preferring to sit behind the ball in a patient manner at odds with domestic football.

Denmark never had to deal with any pressing football from their opponents and found it easy to play the ball from defence through midfield. Behind Harry Kane, there seemed a lack of energy from Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham.

Whether that was through form or playing to instructions, I’m not sure, but it meant Denmark always had an easy out.