It’s easy to get at Everton defender Michael Keane for the way he gave the ball away for Kosovo’s opening goal against England last night but former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino was more worried by his positioning.
As per the Times, Cascarino was not impressed with the way Keane tried to pinch the ball ahead of a striker, leaving himself vulnerable to being turned and left for dead.
He said: “Michael Keane’s stray pass to set up Kosovo’s early goal was poor, but I was more bothered by his positioning. Time and again a pass would be played up to a forward and the centre back would try to get in front of his opponent and nick the ball, leaving him vulnerable to being turned.
“Top strikers will capitalise on Keane’s eagerness to get to the ball and twist away from him before running clear on goal. As if he needed a demonstration of the dangers of that tactic, Keane saw Raheem Sterling spin his man near the halfway line before sprinting forward and teeing up Harry Kane for England’s second.”
TBR’s View – Keane now vulnerable to challenges from Gomez and Stones
John Stones’ injury and Joe Gomez’s lack of Liverpool gametime offered Keane a real opportunity to assert himself as a viable option at the heart of the England defence.
He did okay against Bulgaria but that early error and the deficiencies Cascarino spotted in his game means that there are question marks against his name now – big ones.
Stones and Gomez are both Southgate favourites – given Harry Maguire’s clumsy second half foul in the penalty box – that pair could be England’s duo for Euro 2020.