"The modern midfielder seems to get away with it" - Graeme Souness reveals why England are lacking creativity 1 month ago

"The modern midfielder seems to get away with it" - Graeme Souness reveals why England are lacking creativity

Before Graeme Souness was a silver fox, with glittering new teeth and a charming smile, he was a midfielder who had fantastic vision and passing range.

The former Liverpool captain reveals what the most important thing he learned at his time at Anfield was, and why England need to learn it if they are to progress in this tournament.

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"Billy Gilmour's first thought yesterday, as was all of Scotland's midfield players, was get it in there, get it forward.

"My experience at Liverpool was if you turned up to training, and were watching the small sided games, the thing you would hear more than anything else from the coaches, Ronnie Moran and Joe Fagan, was 'look forward! Look forward!'

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 18: John Stones, Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings of England look dejected as they acknowledge the fans after the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium on June 18, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Dunham - Pool/Getty Images)

"That's cheap [passing backwards]. I could do that. All the time, drilling into you was 'receive the ball and look forward'.

"England last night - I don't want to be critical, but the two holding players that they had, very rarely did that. The modern midfield player would seem to get away with it just being enough to keep possession.

"That means going sideways."

The Scotsman doesn't just give out for the sake of giving out, he brought his facts and stats with him as well.

"I go back five or six years ago, the player who completed the most passes in the Premier League, and this is where stats can kid you completely, was Mertesacker at Arsenal.

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"He had the most completion passes and it was like 10 yards there and 10 years here. If you're a good player, you won't give it away too much [passing forward] and I come back to Gilmore last night, he had that wonderful habit of only passing to the same colour shirt."