Away day blues- no wins from 4 away matches is a worrying trend- true not many would emerge unscathed from away trips to Paris & Dortmund but England were negative and lucky in Slovenia & Scotland. England’s next 2 away matches are qualifiers in Malta & Lithuania- surely they’ll pick up 6 points and put to bed the away day hoodoo.
No outstanding performance- what has been the best performance of the Southgate era? It’s a slightly unfair question after only 8 games but England have yet to deliver a great performance. The best was probably the 3-0 win over Scotland, a biggest win over the Scots in 4 decades should be applauded and England were marvellous in the final half hour, having gone 2-0 up but it should be noted Scotland should have equalised early in the second half. Surely a year from now we’ll have a greater win to crow about?
Central midfield problems- it was always going to be a stretch to fix all England’s positional problems in 8 games but this one has looked desperate. For the doubleheader with Scotland & France Southgate selected only Jake Livermore and Eric Dier as centre midfielders, given both are defensive ball winners England lacked penetration and a link between defence and attack at Hampden Park, then against the French winger Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain found himself struggling in the midfield engine room. Given there are young midfielders emerging (Davis, Winks, Ward Prowse et all) and the expected return to fitness of Henderson & Wilshere better options should be available next season but this remains England’s biggest shortfall.