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Football

26th Jun 2024

Roy Keane calls out two changes Gareth Southgate must make to improve underperforming England

Jacob Entwhistle

‘Hard to impress’ Keane had some complimentary words for particular substitutes

Following England’s 0-0 drab draw versus Slovenia, Roy Keane offered a simple solution to Gareth Southgate’s problems.

Despite topping Group C, the Three Lions were largely underwhelming and only scored two goals in three games playing Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia.

Gareth Southgate’s men will find out their last 16 fate later today, with the Netherlands the most likely opponent.

The other potential sides in the waiting are Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania and Belgium, who all play each other today vying for the top three spots in Group E.

In England’s second-half last night there was significant improvement, although the inability to break down Slovenia speaks volumes.

It’s clear to see England need to make changes to last night’s starting XI if they’re wanting to advance far into the tournament and Roy Keane has offered the perfect solution, speaking on two substitutes:

“Mainoo looked very comfortable out there and the one I’m always excited about is Palmer, he has that X Factor,” Keane told ITV Sport.

“Every time he gets on the ball, you think something is going to happen. I do love Palmer. I think he is an amazing player.

“Would you want to mark Palmer? No, he’s so unpredictable. He can beat a man, can go left and right.

“Brilliant players affect the game and every time he gets on the ball, you think something is going to happen.

“I’m hard to impress, but you always think something is going to happen.

“He’s thinking he should be in that starting XI. He’s not thinking ‘I’m learning and I’m glad to be here’. That’s what the big players do. He will be looking at Gareth and saying ‘get me out there’.”

Speaking on ITV after the game, Gary Neville also backed up Keane’s valid points:

“These are massive, massive talents, huge talents, and we really can’t mishandle these talents. We really will regret it. I think Gareth will as well,”

“So what I would say, ahead of Sunday, is that these lads are there staring him in the face now.

“They’ve come on in the second half, they’ve improved us enormously. They’re our best technical players.

“I’d say we looked so basic again in the first half, but that’s being kind. That’s the rigid England that we’ve seen in every single tournament going back for 20 years. That second half looked like they were playing with a bit of flow.”

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