Roy Keane gets last laugh over Gareth Southgate as England boss red-faced at Euro 2024 – Football News

Roy Keane gets last laugh over Gareth Southgate as England boss red-faced at Euro 2024

Roy Keane was proven spot on for his prediction about Gareth Southgate’s England. (Image: ITV / Getty.)

Manchester United icon Roy Keane confidently predicted that Trent Alexander-Arnold would get “ripped to shreds” in midfield by any competent team at Euro 2024, just days before the Liverpool star’s positional change backfired spectacularly in England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark.

The Three Lions struggled to win the midfield battle against Christian Eriksen, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and goalscorer Morten Hjumland, with Alexander-Arnold hooked off after just 54 minutes, before England were booed off the pitch.

Conor Gallagher being brought on for the second time in the tournament for Alexander-Arnold, at such an early stage in the second half, is likely to be Gareth Southgate’s admission that his experiment has backfired and changes are expected for the final Group C match with Slovenia.

However, Keane warned Southgate prior to the tournament that Alexander-Arnold in midfield was a tactical tweak that would not yield a positive outcome, with the likes of Gallagher, Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton waiting in the wings.

“It’s all about getting the balance right in your team,” Keane told ITV as he identified a clear England weakness. “They’ve got some brilliant individuals, we’ve mentioned that many times before. Four or five players who would walk into any team at this tournament, but it’s getting that balance right.

“They [England] have players who can go and win you football matches, but the problem is defending against the really better teams. I think they’ll be fine in the groups, I think Trent’s position will be fine in those matches, but it’s against the real top teams I think he’ll be found out. I think he’ll be ripped to shreds if he plays against one of the better teams in central midfield.”

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Denmark v England: Group C - UEFA EURO 2024

Trent Alexander-Arnold was substituted off after 54 minutes in England’s draw with Denmark. (Image: Getty)

Denmark, FIFA’s 21st-ranked team in the world, exposed the issues that come with Alexander-Arnold alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham, with tournament frontrunners such as France and Germany unlikely to let England off with a draw should they meet the same midfield trio later in the competition.

However, Southgate was less scathing in his assessment of Alexander-Arnold’s performance against Denmark. He did rue not having a replacement for Manchester City star Kalvin Phillips in his squad though, having starred at Euro 2020, but has since been frozen out by Pep Guardiola.

“Look, he’s had some moments where he’s delivered what we thought he would,” Southgate said in the aftermath of England’s draw with Denmark.

“We know it is an experiment, and we know that we don’t have a natural replacement for a Kalvin Phillips, but we’re trying some different things and at the moment, we’re not flowing as we’d like, that’s for sure.”