The next step
Former Tottenham star Jermaine Jenas has explained where Gareth Southgate’s England need to improve if they are to take the next step
The side impressed all footballing fans when they got to the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.
England fans were finally allowed to dream but that dream came to an end when they were knocked out by Croatia on Wednesday evening.
Even still, the side will come back as national heroes but even with that in mind, there were negatives that didn’t allow them to make the final.
Jermaine Jenas has explained those negatives in his latest Daily Mirror column.
After praising the side for their performances, the midfielder was quick to point out the lack of attacking quality.
While Harry Kane will likely finish top goalscorer, the players around him left a lot to be desired.
‘I still wasn’t quite happy with our front line,’ he explained.
‘In the end, we relied too heavily on our defence and eventually, it cost us.
‘We scored 12 goals but only three from open play. That’s a weird scenario.
‘Those would be Jesse Lingard from outside the box, Harry Kane off his heal, and Dele Alli’s header. So two against Panama and one against Sweden.
‘It is a negative. I wasn’t convinced the mix was right given the talent we have. It’s not about the ability of the individuals.
‘Did we have the players in the right spaces? Collectively as an attacking force I was not 100 per cent convinced with the displays despite the record number of goals.’
‘I didn’t see one 90 minutes when I felt: “Wow we are a force going forward.”
‘But I was shocked at how good we were at passing the ball out, how brave we were and the risks we took.’