Top England star ‘found out’ in Denmark draw as Kane drops TWO excuses for dismal Euros display

Declan Rice, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jude Bellingham England

Roy Keane feels the Trent Alexander-Arnold England midfield experiment has failed

Manchester United legend Roy Keane believes England’s experiment of playing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield has completely failed, with the Liverpool star ‘found out’ in the draw with Denmark.

The Three Lions carried on their form for the second half of the Serbia game by producing another lacklustre Euro 2024 performance in a 1-1 draw in Frankfurt that left many pundits bemused and the England fans walking out of the stadium fuming.

Few players came away from the game with any credit, with Alexander-Arnold once again struggling in his newly-defined midfield role.

Despite actually creating more chances than any other England player, the Reds star was hauled off in the 54th minute for Conor Gallagher as Southgate’s men looked disjointed and frail at the back as the Danes pushed for a late winner.

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The early substitution seems to have interpreted as an admission by Southgate that his experiment with the 25-year-old has not worked, and Keane certainly thinks that is the case.

“When you’ve been taken off in the two games that’s not a good sign,” former United and Repub of Ireland midfielder Keane told ITV.

“I thought it was always a huge gamble to play a player who doesn’t play that position week-in week-out for his club. I know people say he drifts in there for Liverpool, but drifting into a position and staying there and starting are two completely different things.

“I’ve played midfield, it’s a tough position, physically, getting your distances and he’s come up short in the two games.

“It’s not all down to him, you’d have to put this on Gareth. It’s a huge gamble to throw a full-back into the middle of the park.

“And this was against two teams that you would have thought England would be comfortable and have lots of possession. It was a big ask for him and he’s not up to it.

“We talk about football in what you do in possession, it’s really important what you do out of possession and that’s why he’s been thrown in the deep end.

“Okay he’s going to be comfortable on the ball and if you give him time he can see a pass, there’s no doubting that. But it’s the other bits of his game, the distances.

“Rice feels like he’s babysitting him in there and you can’t do that at this level, you will be found out. And he has.”

Southgate will now have a big decision to make over his team selection for the last group game against Solenvia next Tuesday, with Kobbie Mainoo the likeliest option if the England boss decides against Alexander-Arnold or starting regular impact sub Gallagher.

Asked about Alexander-Arnold’s performance against Denmark, Southgate said: “He’s had some moments where he’s delivered what we thought he would. We know it’s an experiment.

“We know we don’t have a natural replacement for Kalvin Philips. We’re trying different things and at the moment we’re not flowing as we’d like.”

Kane picks out reasons for England struggles

Meanwhile, skipper Harry Kane was playing the excuses game after the draw in which he had given England the lead.

Apart from his goal, the Bayern Munich man struggled and ended up dropping deeper and deeper to get involved in the game. He eventually ended up being replaced by Ollie Watkins with 20 minutes to go.

For the second game in succession, England surrendered control having taken an early lead and on this occasion were punished for allowing their opponents back into the contest.

“I think it’s something we’ve got to get better at. I think we’re starting games well but when the teams are dropping deeper we’re not quite sure how to get the pressure on and who’s going,” said Kane.

“In the second half we tried to change a little bit but it was difficult.

“Credit to Denmark, they caused us some threats. Overall we’ve got to look back and see where we can improve.”

To be fair to England, they were not helped by the state of the pitch inside Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park stadium and Kane insisted the conditions made for a testing evening – despite Denmark playing well in the same environment.

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Kane added: “It was tough out there with the heat and the pitch. It wasn’t easy.

“I think we’re struggling both with and without the ball. I think the pressure in both games hasn’t been right and with the ball hasn’t been good enough.

“Everyone’s dropping below their levels a little bit. It was tough out there, but we’re calm. It wasn’t our greatest game but we got away with a point.”