'They don't excite under Gareth Southgate - England's rivals have nothing to fear' - former Portsmouth, Newcastle United and West Ham United favourite delivers withering assessment of Three Lions
England are a team who don’t excite under Gareth Southgate.
And the Three Lions will hold no fear for any of their potential opponents in the last 16 of the European Championships.
That’s the view of former Pompey keeper, Shaka Hislop, who has pulled no punches of the Three Lions in a withering assessment of where they currently stand under their manager.
Southgate’s emerged from the group stages of the Euros last night with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic, in which they impressed in the first 45 minutes before the game slowed after the break.
That result booked a Wembley showdown with either France, Germany or Portugal next Tuesday.
Hislop believes none of those teams will be concerned about the threat posed by England however.
He told ESPN: ‘(Raheem) Sterling said in the interview “that’s what we do - we keep clean sheets. That’s how we win games”.
‘They don’t excite.
‘And if you’re one of those teams in Group F, and we still have to see what comes from that group of death, nothing you’ve seen so far worries you. Noting really worries you.
‘Kane hasn’t really found the form we know of him.
‘Raheem Sterling, despite scoring a couple of goals and hitting the woodwork, doesn’t look as frightening as we know he can be.
‘The argument is he hasn’t looked that frightening all year for club or country.
‘We see Saka and that’s our first look at him, really.
‘But if you’re one of those teams, what’s really keeping you up at night? There’s nothing.’
Hislop feels England are playing with the handbrake on under Southgate, despite the wealth of attacking talent they possess.
And that is is leading to a safety-first approach firmly in the image of their manager.
He added: ‘That’s who England have been under Gareth Southgate in all honesty.
‘They are a team, who despite the talent at their disposal, have just done enough.
‘It’s “get a goal and our priority is to defend that. We don’t send our wing-backs forward, we don’t send our defensive midfielders - Rice and Phillips - forward more than they have to”.
‘They then rely on whoever is bringing pace on the wings, this time it was Sterling and Saka, and Harry Kane’s finishing.
‘Other than that, you take no chances, you gamble none and don’t give anything away at the back.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.