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World Cup 2018: 3 weaknesses exposed during England's win over Tunisia

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
4.04K   //    19 Jun 2018, 02:40 IST

Tunisia v England: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
If not for Kane's heroics, England's world cup dreams would have ended before they even began

If you are heading to the nearest tattoo parlour to get 'It's coming home' etched on your skin forever, you might have to hold on to that thought. England might have won Tunisia in their World Cup 2018 clash, but there were more questions left hanging than answers.

It took a stoppage-time header from Captain (and surely about to be knighted) Harry Kane to win the three points for England, and they would have definitely liked to have wrapped things up earlier. Considering how clinical Belgium were in the other match, it does not bode well for England's future.

There were a few weaknesses that looked blatant, some more vulnerable than others, as England scrambled to their win. Here is a look at three of them:


#1 Lack of creativity from the midfield

2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stage: Tunisia vs England
The lack of creative midfielders was, is, and will be England's biggest concern in this WC

It was the first thing that everyone was shouting when Gareth Southgate announced the squad for Russia - who is going to be the playmaker?

With no Wilshere or Shelvey in the ranks, many predicted that England would suffer from a lack of creativity. Turns out they were right all along.

Now, this isn't to mean that Sterling, Alli and Lingard are not creative. But they are not out-and-out playmakers who can change a game from the back.

For example, France has Pogba while Germany has Kroos and Spain has Iniesta. Argentina has Messi while Brazil has Coutinho. England's creative midfielder in this match turned out to be Young.

Also, the players in the squad seem to be all of the same mold. They - Alli, Sterling, Lingard, Rashford - are all good at running at defenses, trying to cut in and draw a penalty if possible.

Only Loftus-Cheek is a different, more physical sort of player and unsurprisingly he was the most promising attacker in the match for England despite playing only the last quarter of an hour.

The solution then? Southgate cannot bring in a new player now, and he has to live with his decisions.

Against teams like Belgium, this is what is going to hurt England. This looks like a problem that has no solution in theory, and is up to the players to make stuff happen in the moment.

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Shyam Kamal
ANALYST
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