Ian Wright has criticised England manager Gareth Southgate for making confusing substitutions which left him “embarrassed” after the 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday. Southgate took off Phil Foden and Harry Kane in the second half at Wembley, but Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford did not make the difference.
Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, among others, all stayed on the substitutes’ bench as England played out a dire draw in front of the home fans.
Scotland arguably had the better of the chances, with Lyndon Dykes and Che Adams more dangerous up front than the hosts’ forwards.
And it was Jordan Pickford – not David Marshall – who was forced to make the best save of the match from Stephen O’Donnell’s well-struck volley in the first half.
England were lacklustre and ponderous in possession and, besides John Stones’ earlier header onto the post, were blunt in attack.
The draw takes England onto four points in Group D ahead of Tuesday’s match against the Czech Republic, but former Arsenal striker Wright was not happy post-match.
“I was very surprised, the intensity and closing down were not there, they sat back,” he said on ITV’s coverage.
“I think they enabled Scotland to build themselves into the game, build confidence and in the end, the chances Scotland had, you have to say, we’re quite fortunate to get a point out of that now. Very disappointing.
“The substitutions confused me, I don’t know what to say about that.”
The form of Kane was a big talking point at Wembley, with the England captain unable to affect the game in the final third.
After barely touching the ball, he was substituted in the 74th minute for Rashford and while Wright was worried by what he saw, he placed the blame elsewhere.
“I think it’s plain to see that he doesn’t look at his best,” he said.
“Let’s face it. You’re looking at the chances created, Reece James coming into the team, one of the best crossers from his position, hardly any crosses, not enough balls into the last third for people to play.
“Why has he taken Foden off for? There’s no way Phil Foden should be leaving the pitch today, for me. It’s very disappointing to see.
“You’ve got someone like Jadon Sancho on the bench, 16 goals, 20 assists this season – he doesn’t even get on and we need to create.
“We can talk about Harry Kane and the chances he could have had, or how many touches he hasn’t had, but at the same time, did we really create enough? Did we have enough?
“We looked like a team, we’re meant to be favourites to win the tournament, it’s embarrassing, I was embarrassed for us today.
“Whatever happens, you’re still meant to be linking up, getting the chances made for him, we’ve got the players to do it.”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed