Does Gareth Southgate have the instinct for making right England substitutions? | Jonathan Liew

The use of replacements is fundamental in tournaments and we still don’t know if he is capable of doing it proactively

Jack Grealish waits on the touchline, adjusting his socks, adjusting his shin pads, mentally girding himself for action. There’s a stoppage in play, an England injury, lots of hobbling and prevarication, and so Grealish waits. And waits a little more. By the time he finally enters the field of play, there are 97 minutes on the clock. Here we go! Your time to shine, Jack! Go and win us a World Cup quarter-final!

And in all fairness, Grealish tries his level best. He runs at Hugo Lloris in a forlorn attempt to disrupt his clearance. Runs back. Chases a long flick-on. Loses out in an aerial battle to Adrien Rabiot (a man five inches taller than him). And that’s it. All over. England are out, and Grealish’s quarter-final sums to three minutes, no touches and a kit that barely needs washing.

Continue reading…

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *