Agent talks up four England stars but says defender was ‘sloppy in possession’ vs Iran
England marked the start of their 2022 World Cup campaign with an emphatic 6-2 win against Iran.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions were on fire in Monday’s Group B opener with goals from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and a brace from Bukayo Saka sealing all three points.
Although England looked to be on course to equal their best-ever World Cup result, a dubious last-minute penalty kick allowed Iran to spoil the party.
Nevertheless, following what was an excellent performance overall, super-agent and CaughtOffside columnist Rob Segal has highlighted which players proved to be the difference.
“Doesn’t matter who the opponent is, to score six goals in the opening game sends out a strong statement,” Segal said in an exclusive interview.
“Jude Bellingham at only 19-years-old and he showed he is a future England captain in waiting. He showed energy, a desire to win the ball back and everything good about England’s play went through him. He took his goal well with a towering header too.
“Bellingham, as well as Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka were by far England’s best players. They linked up down the right side in the first half and created chaos.
“Declan Rice went about his game quietly but effectively. He’s the anchor of the team who allows the forwards to attack and express themselves.”
However, going on to pinpoint which player he was less impressed with, Segal highlighted Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier as the Three Lions’ biggest disappointment and also questioned Harry Maguire’s ability to remain defensively resolute.
“It made sense to start Kieran Trippier today given his form so far this season with Newcastle United but he was a little sloppy in possession and gave the ball away a couple of times in dangerous areas,” Segal added.
“Harry Maguire was impressive in Iran’s penalty box and won most of his headers and looked a threat but the worry remains against stronger attacking opposition – will he get found out defensively?
“Today England proved that they are at their best playing attacking football and getting on the front foot. The worry will be if Gareth Southgate sets up more cautiously the deeper England goes into this tournament like he did against Italy in last summer’s Euro 202 final.”