What a comedown for Jude Bellingham after the excessive of his World Cup debut in opposition to Iran. The Borussia Dortmund sensation did not simply rating in England’s opener, he additionally ran the present in the course of the park. Right here, he bought outshone by Weston McKennie, which is rarely look. Bellingham is a really unbelievable prospect however his early withdrawal right here, after failing to have a significant influence on proceedings, served as a well timed and helpful reminder that he will not at all times have all of it his personal means at this degree.
The draw was undeniably form to England, simply because it was in 2018 in Russia, and there was the sensation that Harry Kane may as soon as once more run riot within the group stage to place himself in rivalry to win a second consecutive Golden Boot. Nevertheless, Kane has but to get off the mark in Qatar and, worryingly, he is not likely come near scoring. Walker Zimmerman did make one good block to disclaim the Spurs striker however, for probably the most half, Kane was ineffective, and even began dropping deep to strive get on the ball. The query now will likely be how a lot was he affected by the ankle harm he sustained in opposition to Iran. It is an actual concern, anyway, as Kane is arguably the one participant within the England line-up who’s irreplaceable up entrance.
The Three Lions boss was proper to stay with the identical beginning line-up that had torn Iran aside however his mistake right here was ready too lengthy to make a change. It was clear effectively earlier than half-time that issues weren’t working. England seemed torpid and devoid of inspiration. He ought to have made not less than one substitution through the break to liven issues up. Because it was, he inexplicably waited till the 69th minute to strive change the momentum of the sport. By that stage, although, the U.S. had been on high for greater than half an hour. Unsurprisingly, those who consider Southgate is just too cautious and conservative to get the most effective out of this extravagantly gifted group of gamers have been as soon as once more making their disapproval recognized on-line lengthy earlier than the full-time whistle blew. And if he as soon as once more ignores Foden in opposition to Wales, Southgate dangers making a rod for his personal again…
Within the grand scheme of issues, this isn’t a nasty outcome. Keep away from defeat in opposition to a Wales aspect outclassed by Iran and England will virtually definitely progress to the final 16 as winners of Group C, which was the pre-tournament expectation. Nevertheless, it might be unattainable to class this show as something however deflating, given what had gone earlier than. England seemed a pale imitation of the aspect that tore Iran to shreds. They have been frustratingly flat, which is a critically worrying signal at this stage of the competitors. One might argue that the squad will profit from this actuality verify, as it is going to scale back the strain on their shoulders. However the backside line is that the Three Lions did not look something like World Cup winners on the Al Bayt Stadium.