Jadon Sancho is the player England needed in the World Cup

England 3 USA  0

Lingard 25 Alexander-Arnold 27 Wilson 77


Jadon Sancho’s assist on England’s second goal was classy and just what I wanted to see.

He rolled a sweet little pass into his right back’s overlap and there was a message printed on the ball: Just Hit Me! So Trent Alexander-Arnold, a 20-year-old right back, smashed a shot that went into the back off the net off the far post to make it 2-0.

Game over, I thought.

England had started quite well and after 12 minutes I was thinking; Give it to Sancho! His snaky spurts looked promising and he had more composure than any other player.As I said yesterday, he’s a natural.

Then Christian Pulisic suddenly raced through us and Jordan Pickford saved. I thought Pulisic should have shot earlier but replays from behind the goal suggested that wasn’t possible.

Then England created a nice move down the left, worked the ball away from the corner flag, so that Dele Alli could set up Jesse Lingard, who hit an unstoppable shot from 18 yards into the top corner for 1-0 in 24.

Southampton’s Alex McCarthy replaced Pickford for the second half

Rooney came on 57 and fitted in quickly. 

And it was nice that everyone welcomed him so warmly. Loftus-Cheek replaced Harry Winks in 59.

In 77, Fabian Delph crossed from the left and powerhouse Callum Wilson made a run to the near post and knocked in his first goal for England.

Gareth Southgate enjoyed the team performance and a 3-0 victory that was fully deserved.But he said we were too open at the end of the game and he didn’t like some of our positioning.

And, of course, Southgate repeated his mantra : “We’ve got real competition for places.”

He’s making his squad bigger all the time and that’s entirely necessary. But when England play World Cup FInalists Croatia on Sunday afternoon we have to maximise home advantage by starting  Jadon Sancho.

This England squad has plenty of big athletes but not enough nimble ones who can use tidy short passes and dribble and finish.

With his artistry and easy balance, Jadon Sancho plays like a Brazilian, reminding me Romario or Zico.

I was in the Wembley press box for every England game between 1982 and 2002 and I never saw an English footballer who can do all the things this lad can do.


ENGLAND:  Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Keane, Dunk, Chilwell; Delph, Winks, Alli; Lingard, Wilson, Sancho

Subs: Rooney, Kane, Butland, Walker, Henderson, Sterling, Barkley, Rashford, Stones, McCarthy, Dier, Loftus-Cheek

USA : Guzan; Yedlin, Miazga, Brooks, Villafara; Trapp, McKennie; Weah, Green, Pulisic, Wood

Subs: Horvath, Carter-Vickers, Adams, Delgado, Lletget, Saief, Moore, Acosta, Cannon

England just powerful enough to edge out creative Croatia