Tag Archives: Poland

Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips may have booked Euros spot after England win over Poland

England’s last game before Gareth Southgate names his squad for the Euros was a final trial for Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips. Paper handed in, his examination was at least one positive for the England manager after a late 2-1 win over Poland in World Cup qualifying.
When Phillips made his debut in Denmark last September in Copenhagen, he bore the look of a slightly startled rabbit. Only just a Premier League player after Leeds United’s promotion, another step up to international football looked beyond him at that stage.

But he has grown before Southgate’s eyes and proved the England manager’s initial hunch was spot on.

He is one of only five players to have started all three of these World Cup qualifiers – a sign of the faith Southgate has in him and the manager’s desire to squeeze as much experience as he can into him ahead of the Euros.

That would appear to be a hint as to his intentions although Phillips’ selection in the 23-man squad may ultimately depend on the fitness of Jordan Henderson who remains sidelined with a groin injury.

Henderson is likely to be back later this month for Liverpool if there are no complications but Phillips, 25, has shown he can play his part if needed.

It is an argument whether England need two screening midfielders and a frustration to many but Southgate likes the insurance he and Declan Rice offer as a pair.

While that points to the cautious, pragmatic streak in Southgate, it is simplistic to see them as mere tailors’ dummies, giving Harry Maguire and John Stones someone to chat to during England attacks.

Phillips did have some licence to roam forwards last night and found himself in some semi-promising shooting positions only to pass on the responsibility.

That was a pity as he strikes a fine ball – he had shares in the set-piece duties on Wednesday night – but his main role remains primarily destructive rather than constructive.

Winning the ball back quickly has been one of England’s strengths in this international window and Phillips and Rice have played a key part in that.

Operating in a congested midfield in the first half last night with the Poles forming a five-man line, he did the simple things well again, recycling possession effectively and helping to break up the visitors’ sorties at source.

When the Poles moved to 4-4-2 at the interval there was more space but it remained a combative contest with the visitors, led by their former West Bromwich Albion man Grzegorz Krychowiak not shy of a tackle. Phillips needed treatment after winning a challenge against Piotr Zielinski and taking some afters for his trouble.

It was a physical affair of the kind rarely seen these days with Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers happy to officiate it as a contact sport and keep his cards in his pocket. The shoulder barge was back in vogue at Wembley and Phillips did not mind that.

His aim is to return to Elland Road after his time with his country as more of a leader. While that is not an obvious characteristic in him – his off-field nature is smily and easy-going – he can fight the fight on it.

From the Championship to the European Championship in 12 months for a player who had never previously featured for England at any level? It doesn’t sound so daft now.

England ratings from Matt Dunn inside Wembley

Nick Pope – 6

Stones seemed determined to end the run of clean sheets. Nothing he could do in the end.

Kyle Walker – 6

Always brings a certain swagger to right back – although offered little going forward.

John Stones – 5

Another challenging opponent, another horrible blunder. But supplied the knockdown for Maguire’s strike.

Harry Maguire – 7

Proper member of the centre-back union, rescuing England right at the end. Got away with a handball.

Ben Chilwell – 7

Used his club understanding with Mount to good effect down the left flan

Declan Rice – 7

Excellent anticipation broke down Poland’s play – a bit less sideways passing perhaps.

Kalvin Phillips – 6

Quite content to do the thankless squirrelling around snapping up the scraps.

Mason Mount – 8

Another impressive performance from Chelsea’s answer to the Duracell bunny.

Phil Foden – 7

Immaculate first touch makes him a great outlet. Little end product on this occasion.

Harry Kane – 7

He comes deep, he goes up top, he never misses, from the spot. But England needed more.

Raheem Sterling – 8

Earned the penalty and created the most mischief. Still not brilliant best, though.

Man Utd star Luke Shaw details England regret ahead of Poland clash

Luke Shaw regrets using physical excuses to withdraw from England squads in the past when the reality is he was not “mentally right”. Right now, the Manchester United defender says he is fighting fit on both counts.
Having watched England overwhelm San Marino, Shaw started his first game for two-and-a-half years against Albania and promptly provided the assist for Harry Kane to score the first goal in Tirana.

In doing so, he hopes to get the nod ahead of Ben Chilwell in the toughest game of the three, against Poland at Wembley tomorrow.

But it is a far cry from previous times when Shaw would hide away from the England spotlight, leaning rather too heavily on his chequered injury history to avoid fighting for his place in the Three Lions set-up.

That is something he regrets hugely.

“I’ve a few massive regrets and I couldn’t stop thinking of the mistakes that I made in the past, especially with England,” Shaw admitted.

“I pulled out of a lot of camps. Around that time, I was maybe not in the best condition but I think over the last two years I’ve thought about it so much.

“I did have problems at the time, as in injuries, but maybe they were ones that could have been sort of dealt with but there was a lot on my mind, especially in times I had at United.

“My biggest regrets were just pulling out, and how I pulled out. And yeah, of course, letting Gareth down.

“Personally, I massively regretted doing that – I think playing for your country is a massive privilege and an honour and I think at times I took advantage of that.

“Maybe at the time, mentally I wasn’t right.”

Shaw’s physical problems started when he suffered a double fracture of the leg in September 2015. He was nevertheless called up to train with Sam Allardyce’s first England squad a year later only to withdraw before the opening game against Slovakia.

He finally made his way back into the side two years later and played in the thrilling 3-2 win over Spain in Seville – only to pull out from the October camp on the first day of reporting.

In March 2019, his previous call-up before this one, Shaw did not even make it to St George’s Park, excusing himself along with a host of players the weekend before the international break.

But some soul-searching during lockdown with his girlfriend Anouska marked a change in attitude with Shaw.

“At times there were periods when I thought I might not get back in… especially with my family,” Shaw revealed. “We had a few discussions and we thought that maybe I wouldn’t be able to get back into it.

“We had that sit down. My mum and dad were thinking that that might be it for England. But my girlfriend was different. She always believed that I would fight my way back into the squad. And deep down I always believed that I could and I worked hard.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tipped him off a week in advance that Southgate was willing to let bygones be bygones and he immediately told Anouska.

Mum and dad he let know on the morning of the announcement 12 days ago.

“I’m glad that Gareth has given me another chance and hopefully I can just impress him and stake my claim to be in the squad.”

‘Gold symbolizes strength of the country’: Poland plans to add more bullion to its coffers

Poland wants to buy at least 100 tons of gold in the coming years to demonstrate the country’s economic strength, said the president of the central bank, Adam Glapinski.

In an interview with Sieci magazine, he said, “At the moment, we have 229 tons of gold, of which more or less half was bought during my term in office,” adding that the new holdings would be stored in Poland.

“This matters, among other things, for how the country is perceived,” Glapinski explained. He said in January that the share of gold in the central bank, which currently comprises 9% of the nation’s reserves, would rise to 20% during his next term.
Also on rt.com Central banks worldwide buying up massive amounts of gold in a shift away from US dollar – Goldman Sachs
Poland has been consistently boosting its bullion reserves in recent years, buying around 126 tons of gold in 2018 and 2019. The nation also repatriated around 100 tons of gold from the Bank of England’s vaults in London, which is around half of Warsaw’s holdings in the United Kingdom. Glapinski said back then “The gold symbolizes the strength of the country.”

Over the past decade central banks around the world, and particularly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, have ramped up purchases of gold in a shift away from the US dollar.

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