England's Southgate has big calls to make

12 November, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek had 'vision' to leave Chelsea and accelerate career

England made light of their injury worries as World Cup preparations got off to a promising start, with Gareth Southgate's young side fighting out a spirited goalless draw with Germany.

Gareth Southgate's side may have won eight of their 10 World Cup qualifying games and remained unbeaten in Group F but their performances were far from convincing.

But despite being without a number of key players, Southgate always believed his worldwide rookies would be ready for the challenge. He has been a top performer in our junior teams for a long time.

Southgate knows the midfielder having played him during his time as England Under-21 manager, and is convinced the Lewisham-born man is capable of operating on the biggest stage.

Jake Livermore dragged across goal before Loftus-Cheek's splendid clipped pass put Vardy in, although he could not direct it home or to a team-mate.

There was one defining moment during the first half when he produced an impressive double nut-meg to flick the ball through the legs of Leroy Sane and had the audacity to do the same thing again seconds later to Marcel Halstenberg.

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Loftus-Cheek, 21, who has been outstanding since joining Crystal Palace on loan for the season from Chelsea in the summer, said: "I'm really happy".

"I don't think the wider public maybe would be as aware of him, you'd have to follow him very closely, but we believe in him and we believe in the others that we played". So for me to get to that next level I needed to play regular football.

"We used the ball really well, and we created a couple of really good chances", added Southgate.

But it was not just Loftus-Cheek who caught the eye.

Pickford's distribution was outstanding and he made several fine saves to keep the German forwards at bay.

England host powerhouses Brazil as well four days from now.

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