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Damien Duff holds nothing back with England assessment after Scotland stalemate

“I don’t see it.”

Damien Duff seemed to dismiss England’s chances of going the whole way at Euro 2020 after Friday night’s draw against Scotland.

England were heavy favourites to beat Scotland and continue building up momentum in their Euro 2020 campaign but Steve Clarke’s side refused to be beaten in a 0-0 stalemate at Wembley.

The delight was clear to see on Scottish faces after claiming a result against Gareth Southgate’s England and while Ireland legend Duff was full of praise for the Scots, he couldn’t help but highlight the shortcomings of England.

“For as good as Scotland were, England were as bad,” Duff said on RTE after the match.

Damien Duff on England

“It’s been three years since Russia. They’ve played 3-4-3 nearly the whole three years and all of a sudden, they come to the tournament – and I know Maguire’s out – but they’re playing 4-2-3-1.

“Gareth Southgate said in the press this week that he knows 10 out of his best 11. I don’t think he’s anywhere near that.

“He doesn’t know his best right-back, he doesn’t know his best left-back. The front line, I don’t think he knows either.


“I don’t see it at all. When you compare them to Belgium and Italy – Belgium yesterday were struggling at half-time but that X-Factor, zip, creativity resulted in a goal. Game over. Italy are a proper fluid outfit, such a pretty watch.

“Whereas England are just so lopsided and lethargic. They took [Harry] Kane off and they can’t bring on another striker. [Marcus] Rashford is a top player but he plays off the side for his club and [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin is sitting on the bench.”

England remain in the region of 7/1 to become Euro 2020 champions but Duff doesn’t place Southgate’s side in the same realm as some of their rivals for the crown.

Duff expressed bewilderment regarding how so many top players at club level so often fail to deliver for England on the big stage.

“That was awful tonight,” Duff continued. “Scotland were brilliant and I’m so pleased for Steve Clarke, Steven Reid and Stevie Woods but England were awful.

“When you think about their attacking talents and they’re world class at their clubs but when they come and pull on an England shirt – I don’t know whether it’s the pressure or the media or the punters that are on them – I don’t see it!”

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