Sports

Grealish shines as England, Germany share point

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

In a match in which England boss Gareth Southgate touted Manchester City Jack Grealish for putting a wonderful performance, added that the youngster still has to improve his game tactically.

England striker Harry Kane scored his fiftieth international goal for his country to douse the hope of the Germans who were a goal ahead in the UEFA Nations League match at Allianz Arena, yesterday.

“The challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try and score goals – a high tactical level and you’ve got to be spot on – and that’s an area Jack can get better at,” Southgate said in a post-match interview.

However, England trailed by a goal and could not find the right rhythm to break through the Germans’ defence until Grealish was introduced into the game 20 minutes before second-half additional time to help force England force an equaliser from the left flank.

Resultantly, England got their first point in the UEFA tournament following the defeat they endured at Hungary where they were booed in the stadium.

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According to a report by Sky Sports, his [Grealish] last 11 caps in a competitive game for England, only three of those have seen Grealish play from the start as Southgate ultimately used him to change a game for him from the bench, including in three of the four knockout matches at last summer’s European Championship run to the final.

Furthermore, Southgate, on clarifying if Grealish is better as a super-sub of a first-team starter, said, “He can do both. If we didn’t trust him, we wouldn’t put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference.

“At the start of the game the challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try and score goals – high tactical level and you’ve got to be spot on – and that’s an area Jack can get better at.

“What he did do was carry the ball as the game opened up with a little bit more space and opportunity. The impact both he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There is a good challenge there among those players but we’ve got to keep pushing them,” he added.

The England boss continued: Southgate said: “I was pleased with the level of performance.

“This type of fixture challenges everything; technical, tactical, physical, psychological and players had to give everything to get a result. In the first half, we were OK but the quality of our passing wasn’t at the level it needed to be.

“In the second half, we were passive in that period when we conceded but the response was fantastic. With the quality of our attacking play, we created quality chances and deserved something from the game. That’s a huge credit to the players in showing that mentality not to give in and to keep pushing,” Southgate added.

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