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Gareth Southgate concerned about England’s reliance on Harry Kane for goals | Soccer News

Gareth Southgate concerned about England’s reliance on Harry Kane for goals | Soccer News

England boss Gareth Southgate has expressed concern over his side’s reliance on Harry Kane after failing to score against Italy at Molineux.

The goalless draw leaves them without a win after three Nations League games and having scored only once in the campaign – Kane’s late penalty which leveled things against Germany.

Tammy Abraham replaced Kane in that behind closed doors game on Saturday but failed to find the net with just one chance early on. Although Mason Mount hit the crossbar soon after and Raheem Sterling missed it from close range, the goal didn’t come.

“We want to win games and we’re disappointed not to win,” Southgate said. “We have two or three very good chances to take.

“You don’t have as many chances against the top teams. We would have liked to create more from the possession we had. We are very dependent on Harry and Raheem for our goals at the moment and that is a concern. “

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England midfielder Kalvin Phillips thinks they were the better team against Euro 2020 winners Italy despite drawing 0-0 and says it’s no problem they had to struggling to find the back of the net.

Jack Grealish was given a start on the left after making an impact against Germany, but Southgate noted he only had one attempt on goal.

“I go back to what I say about all our attacking players,” he added. “It’s an area we need to improve if we want to progress as a team.”

Grealish’s goalscoring record for Manchester City was unremarkable, but perhaps Southgate had Mount in mind when he pointed out that “there are players who score more regularly for their clubs” than for their country.

The Chelsea man hasn’t found the net in his last 15 appearances for England and missed a golden first-half chance to put England ahead at Molineux.

“We continue to work to get the balls into the right areas. Ultimately, in the attacking areas, the quality of play will be crucial. There has been a lack of precision in those areas.”

Gareth Southgate's England are winless in their first three Nations League games after a goalless draw with Italy
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Gareth Southgate’s England are winless in their first three Nations League games after a goalless draw with Italy

And without Kane, that could be a real problem.

“The problem is if you don’t have it for whatever reason,” added the England boss. “But every team relies on its best players.

“France were dead and buried last night and Kylian Mbappe found something. Our captain’s goalscoring record is phenomenal. But we have to start sharing that burden.”

Southgate praises Ramsdale’s performance

England’s failure to score did not result in defeat thanks to a man of the match performance from keeper Aaron Ramsdale, who brilliantly saved from Sandro Tonali in the first half and continued to deny the team by Roberto Mancini until the end.

“He made some important saves and was very calm in possession of the ball,” Southgate said of what was just the Arsenal keeper’s second appearance for his country. “That’s what we hoped he would bring.”

It wasn’t entirely flawless. “There was a misplaced pass into midfield,” Southgate recalled. But his ball-to-foot ability was a real strength. “Generally I think the time he took, the composure he showed, helped us build from the back.”

The return of the crowd will help England

One explanation for England not being clinical enough was the urgency of a packed stadium that was lacking. “We were the dominant team in the second half. But we were back to that soulless experience we had during Covid.”

England were forced to play behind closed doors against Italy due to trouble at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final against the same opposition last summer. Hungary will find a very different Molineux awaiting them on Tuesday night.

“Having a full house here will be a huge boost for the players,” Southgate said.

“Coming here and playing in front of no fans, [it is difficult] when you press a goal and nothing comes for the terraces and the opposition don’t have that pressure.

“We can’t wait to come here on Tuesday when the place bounces back.

“At this time, we could do with this help.”

Mancini: England’s World Cup contenders

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Italy manager Roberto Mancini reckons England are one of the best teams in Europe and a top contender for the World Cup in Qatar.

Just as was the case exactly 11 months ago when Italy won the Euro 2020 final, Roberto Mancini would have been the happier of the two managers as his experimental side produced impressive football at Molineux.

Despite another toothless display of attack, Mancini had no doubt England would be in the game to go all the way at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“England are one of the best teams in Europe at the moment, they have lots and lots of good players,” he said.

“Maybe they are trying something different right now, different situations, but I think they are one of the candidates to win the World Cup.”


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