Sport

Ian Wright anxious for England after going into their shell vs Nigeria

Ian Wright anxious for England after going into their shell vs Nigeria

Just as England never recovered from a bad start four years ago, a positive result early on - maybe in the first game, maybe as early as the upcoming friendlies against Nigeria and Costa Rica - can help generate the sort of momentum that enables a team to grow in a tournament.

England beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley in preparation for the World Cup and were two goals to the good at half-time.

But that encouraging opening was marred by a lethargic effort from England after the interval. Ahmed Musa came on and was immediately a threat down the left flank.

Southgate had considered omitting Sterling for his tardy timekeeping after he reported late for the squad.

The video showed Jamie Vardy, along with midfielders Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones, acting as raiders (or attackers) while Raheem Sterling, Danny Rose and Ashley Young played the role of defenders.

Sterling had apologised to his team-mates after Southgate laid down the law - but that wasn't his only issue since he joined up with England as the 23-year-old was forced to defend his new tattoo of an M16 assault rifle.

The players want to do well - you can see from how they play, the change in system to five at the back. Pickford's vision was then blocked as Iwobi stepped up to half the deficit in the early exchanges of the second half. It is the kind of competition for places Southgate will be pleased to cultivate.

It's imperative that Nigeria don't let England settle into this rhythm and ensure that they break up the home side's attempts to establish their dominance in the heart of the midfield and control the game.

Alli, who has a Nigerian father, didn't seem perturbed and he was soon celebrating when England took a seventh-minute lead.




Seven minutes into the game, Gary Cahill opened the scoring for the Three Lions with a towering header from the penalty spot that sailed into the top corner following a corner, 1-0.

Trippier has got the balance right between attacking and defending, a balance that many modern day fullbacks struggle to find.

England coach Gareth Southgate has spoken a lot about his playing philosophy, and has talked a lot about his style of play.

England Manager, Gareth Southgate's having named his provisional 23-man squad for this summer's finals in Russian Federation, will be under pressure to impress in England's final home game at the national stadium before the tournament.

He now wears Dele on his shirt for Tottenham and England.

Jordan Pickford starts in goal and the Everton stopper is expected to be first choice for the tournament in Russian Federation.

With Kyle Walker set to be used in a three-man defence, Trippier has the ideal chance to nail down the starting spot for the Three Lions this summer and after the furore of England's disappointing set-piece taking quality at Euro 2016 - the thought of Harry Kane on corners is enough to make any England fan shudder - the 27-year-old has earned his right to be on set-piece duty in Russian Federation.

Nigeria halved the deficit two minutes into the second half courtesy of Alex Iwobi's cool finish after Odion Ighalo had struck the upright.

Raheem Sterling was booked for diving.


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