Gareth Southgate’s preparations for the European Championship are coming to an end, with two friendlies against Brazil and Belgium helping to solidify some players’ spots in the squad while leaving others uncertain. With only two more matches before their opening group game, decisions still need to be made. Alan Shearer discussed various topics in a Q&A session, including Marcus Rashford’s place in the squad, the choice between Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins up front, defensive concerns, and the situation of previous starters like Jack Grealish.

Some players, such as Kobbie Mainoo and Anthony Gordon, have played their way onto the plane with impressive performances. Others, like Ben Chilwell and Lewis Dunk, may be in uncertain territory due to struggles in the friendlies. The competition is stiff among wingers, with players like Rashford and Grealish facing pressure for their positions. The discussion also highlighted the importance of having multiple striking options for Harry Kane, with players like Toney and Watkins providing different strengths as backups.

The concept of a Plan B for tactics was brought up, emphasizing the need for adaptability in tournaments to deal with different opponents. The concern about England’s back four was raised, with questions surrounding the left-back position and potential weaknesses in defense. Shearer also shared his opinion on bringing in a creative player like James Maddison to provide more options in midfield.

Southgate’s mentality and approach to the Euros were discussed, with Shearer highlighting the depth of attacking options England has when everyone is fit. There were also questions about Southgate’s future as England manager, with the possibility of this being his last tournament if he doesn’t win. The conversation shifted to club football, with discussions on Newcastle United and Liverpool, including possible managerial changes and expectations for the upcoming seasons.

Overall, the Q&A covered a wide range of topics related to England’s Euro preparations, player selection, tactical considerations, and the future of both the national team and select clubs. Shearer offered insights into potential strategies, player choices, and the challenges and opportunities ahead for Southgate and various teams as they approach the upcoming tournaments and seasons.

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