England suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Czech Republic on Friday in their Euros 2020 qualifying campaign clash, missing out on an early chance to secure a place in next summer’s competition.
The Three Lions can still qualify today if they beat Bulgaria and Kosovo do not beat Montenegro, but they have come under criticism for their latest performance – despite it being their first qualifying defeat since 2009.
Manager Gareth Southgate’s backline was all over the place, and England legend Alan Shearer believes the struggles of Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this campaign have rubbed off on them.
Spurs suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Brighton Hove and Albion heading into the international break – their third of the season – while Everton lost 1-0 to Burnley – their fifth defeat of the season.
“You could make a case for Friday’s team being a surprise, as four of the back five are going through a tough spell,” Shearer told The Sun.
“Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane with Everton, Harry Maguire with Manchester United and Danny Rose with Tottenham. You look at their form and their club results and they weren’t exactly bouncing going into the international break.
“Perhaps you would like to think they could go in fresh and look at it as an opportunity but clearly they didn’t do that. I fully expect changes at the back and maybe even in the formation.”
Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings is expected to replace Keane against Bulgaria, while Rose is also set to be dropped.
The Tottenham left-back has struggled so far this term, and many reckon his days at North London are numbered.
Spurs transfer-listed the 29-year-old during the summer transfer window, but an exit couldn’t work out and injuries to other left-backs have seen him feature for the side prominently since the campaign started.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino is expected to slowly ease summer arrival Ryan Sessegnon into action after the international break, and Rose’s first-team minutes going forward are set to be limited.
Although Pickford’s and Keane’s starting XI berths aren’t under threat at Everton, the same can’t be said of their Three Lions’ berths.
Mings could pip the Toffees star to the shirt going forward if he keeps impressing for Villa, while three quality goalkeepers are breathing down the neck of the 25-year-old.
We are just eight games into the new Premier League season, though, and a lot of things will change between now and May.
But without a doubt, inclusion in the Euros 2020 squad and starting line-ups will be dependent on how every player fares for the whole of the campaign, and the Everton duo and Spurs star have to sit up.