Gareth Southgate: 'We need backing from England supporters'

Posted October 08, 2017

After England booked their place at the 2018 World Cup, Paul Merson has selected the 23 players he thinks should be on the plane to Russian Federation.

Manager Gareth Southgate announced his decision on Saturday, a day ahead of the game. Argentina need to win - and wait for other results - if they want to make it to Russian Federation next year.

His club team-mate Harry Kane, who scored the late victor against Slovenia on Thursday, is keen to play even with games against Real Madrid and Liverpool coming up after the global break. Lithuania could have even found themselves at the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline if luck had not been on their side.

Read on to find out how they did representing their respective countries.

Butland has though proven that he is ready to play a more prominent role for the national team.

England's plodding display meant supporters found attempts to aim paper planes at the pitch more entertaining than matters on the field at sparsely-filled Wembley. The four-time world champions also maintained their proud unbeaten away record in World Cup qualifiers – a run spanning an incredible 47 matches dating back to 1934. But John Stones has played in a three-man defence under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and is ideal for bringing the ball forward, while Gary Cahill captains league champions Chelsea from the left-centre role of a three.

"We have qualified for a World Cup with one game to go".

Nevertheless, the game still remains an opportunity for England stars to impress Southgate and try and earn a place in his World Cup squad next summer.

England will have the returning Dele Alli, who has served his one-match ban from Federation Internationale de Football Association, following his middle finger-gesture versus Slovakia.

And Thursday demonstrated that for all the creative potential of certain players, they lack a plan when it comes to possession play. Mikuckis will have a real challenge on his hands.

"I said we need to have a good look at him, see if he gets the 20 or 30 goals that you were getting - and of course now he is doing that". With Adam Lallana still out of contention, England are short of innovative forward play. England has no one like Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, Marco Verratti, Andrés Iniesta, Eden Hazard or N'Golo Kante who can dominate and control midfield (and that's just in Europe).

Do England have quality in depth? Jordan Henderson would be Dier's most obvious partner in England's weakest outfield position. Behind them in the pecking order are Jake Livermore and Harry Winks.

Not a great watch tonight England but enjoyed that goal from Kane! Needs game time at club level or he will be a passenger in Moscow.

Global friendlies are hardly a typical source of excitement, but noncompetitive matches have produced the most intriguing moments of Southgate's leadership so far.

Rashford also whipped in a devilish cross that needed only a slight touch from someone to have opened the scoring. Southgate needs to bring out the best in them.

Christopher Davies was a longtime Premier League correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph. Generally England's best performer since establishing himself in the side, Lallana takes up intelligent positions, quickens the tempo and forms passing triangles in unsafe zones.

The veteran right back did what he could to push Ecuador to the top, but it was not enough. With England, he remains backup to Harry Kane and even Jamie Vardy.