England v Hungary match in pictures
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Jamie Carragher has offered some passionate support for Gareth Southgate following England’s humiliating 4-0 defeat by Hungary. Southgate was booed by the Molineux crowd, with many calling for the Three Lions boss to be sacked after their biggest defeat since 1964.
Southgate made nine changes for the fourth Nations League match in quick succession, continuing his decision to experiment ahead of the World Cup in November. It did not pay off, with Roland Sallai’s double and goals from Zsolt Nagy and Daniel Gazdag concluding a miserable spell of results.
England have failed to win, or even score in open play, against Hungary, Germany and Italy and are bottom of their Nations League group. Supporters were heard chanting “you don’t know what you’re doing” in the stands, while social media was awash with anti-Southgate sentiment after the final whistle.
Former Liverpool and England defender Carragher has jumped to Southgate’s defence, however, reminding fans of the runs to the final of Euro 2020 and to the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup. He tweeted: “‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ shut up you clowns. This manager has taken the country in two tournaments to the best positions since 1966.
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“Also this idea that Southgate is holding this group back is nonsense, this squad is no better than 2004/6 1996/98. Southgate has overachieved albeit with favourable draws. Rest up boys and come back to your normal level.”
Carragher’s sparring partner on Sky Sports, Gary Neville, had a different take. He offered support for the players, who looked extremely tired following a long club season, and suggested the fixture-packed calendar needs to be changed. “Sympathy for the fans and for the players,” Neville tweeted. “This isn’t right. Players/Coaches will have to collectively come together to start to influence the programme to get that clear break..”
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Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker added: I’m sticking to cricket. I said previously that @EnglandFootball missed a trick by not resting all their important players so they’d be fresh for the World Cup. Would have also loved to have seen us adopt Liverpool’s way of playing. Would suit us perfectly. I also acknowledge, I’ve never been a coach.”
England captain Harry Kane offered a staunch defence of Southgate in his post-match interview. Asked by Channel 4 whether the team were on the right path with Southgate at the helm, he answered: “Yeah. Without any question. That’s not even a question I should be answering if I’m honest.”
He added: “We’re preparing for a big World Cup, and will learn a lot from this camp. Let’s not forget where we’ve come from: a first final in 60 years, and a semi-final at a World Cup. Compared to where we were over the last 50 years, it’s no time to panic. It’s not going to be perfect every game, the fans have to understand that.”
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