Lucky England beat Croatia on set pieces.Without Trippier

England 2 Croatia 1

Kramaric 57 Lingard 78 Kane 85


Croatia were clever and resourceful.

But they missed Rakitic more than we missed Trippier.

They rattled England by pressing early in the game, knowing our defenders aren’t great on the ball. Kyle Walker had a shocker.

A rebound off Delph became an accidental backpass, then a scramble. But we got away with it

Croatia had the ability to improvise, while England had pace with no final ball.

After 44 it was still 0-0 and I was already praying Winks and Sancho would come on

After dominating and missing four chances, we allowed Andre Kramaric to take six touches in the box before scoring the first goal of a game which Croatia they should have already lost. We allowed him to take six touches before scoring!

HAVE I EVER SEEN THAT IN AN ENGLAND GAME? Six touches and turn and shoot and score?

Fabian Delph did well, stretching Croatia with raking passes to the flanks

Football is about goals and players.

With Kieran Trippier, this is a different game. With Ivan Rakitic, is a very different game.

England CAN score goals in open play but three in 38 minutes in Seville was a one-off. I’ll never see that again.

Sterling’s decision-making isn’t as good for England as it is for Man City, where the next pass is one they’ve practiced 2,000 times. Yes, Raheem Sterling is one of our best players but his decision-making will never be as good as Jadon Sancho’s .

Traditionally, Engerland are the lions of autumn and the lambs of spring. After recovering from an exhausting but enjoyable World Cup, we had enough bottle and perseverance to force a win after missing far too many chances.

And Southgate is flying. His ideas have worked. After 17 games in 2018, he has won 11, got to a World Cup semi-final, and has topped this Nations League qualifying group.