Gary Neville insisted that Harry Maguire must play before the Euro 2020 knockouts to get as much match practice as possible. Neville was not sure if it would be the best idea to throw him into a knockout game.
“I think Tyrone Mings did really well – it was an important match for him. Looking at John Stones and Mings as a partnership before the tournament, you would have concerns against the best teams.” Gary Neville said while talking about Harry Maguire. “I know people have dismissed Croatia after the game, but not many were dismissing them before the game, so I would still say that’s a really good win for England against a good team.”
“I think the reason Kieran Trippier played at left-back was his experience and know-how, meaning Mings had experience either aside of him.” he added. “If Harry Maguire can get back to a level, he will come back in. But if he comes back in, I think if it’s not against Scotland, it has to be against Czech Republic. You couldn’t make Harry Maguire’s first game back a knockout game.”
The former Manchester United defender also felt that Southgate would continue to use two defensive midfielders. Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice did not put a foot wrong against Croatia. Neville also said that the latter was as undroppable as Harry Kane. The two young midfielders dominated the Croatian midfield with Kalvin Phillips chipping in with an assist.
“That double pivot, or the two midfield players in front of the back four, isn’t going to change, you can be absolutely sure of that.” he added. “I think what we saw against Croatia was Southgate’s reaction to what all of us were thinking pre-tournament; that their weakness is defense, and that they’re going to need to keep clean sheets if they’re going to win this tournament.”