While we were watching England look toothless against Scotland, it could have been suggested that England only wanted a draw so as to try and not win the Group, obviously because of the great teams they could face in the next round.
Southgate could have engineered the perfect result, and that is the only reason I can think of that he left some of his most creative players, and therefore most likely to get the breakthrough against Scotland, on the bench.
Arsenal fans were pinning our hopes of seeing Bukayo Saka coming up against Kieran Tierney on Friday, and after the Gunners starlet was praised lavishly by Southgate after he scored the winner in England’s friendly against Austria, we surely expected to see him in the Group stages.
One person who thinks the same as me is the Arsenal legend Martin Keown, who told football.london After England ended scoreless against Scotland: “I think he is a player that can make things happen,”
“I’m a little bit surprised we haven’t seen more of him since his performance against Austria. He showed that he really had that cutting edge in that friendly. We’ll have to see what Gareth has got in mind, but there is such competition for places.
“There are five substitutes that the manager can make, so there will be opportunities to get everyone on. There are going to be occasions, and last night was one of them, where you’re going to have to go for it and play some of those really creative players all at once.”
I have a feeling that Southgate is going to give a few of his fringe player a run out against the Czechs this week, as he obviously doesn’t want to win!
A draw will guarantee progression and would mean that the Czech’s get to play either France, Germany or Poland. So maybe that means that Southgate will keep his best strikers on the bench again…