5 questions facing Gareth Southgate after England’s below-par draw vs Scotland

England were held to a disappointing scoreless draw against Scotland on Friday night and offered a below-par, anaemic performance.

Despite having home advantage at Wembley and knowing a win would secure them qualification through to the knockout stages, the Three Lions had just one shot on target throughout the match.

Gareth Southgate’s side have not conceded a goal in four matches and have seven clean sheets in the past eight matches but have scored just three times in their last four.

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With concerns over the attacking output of the side and a slow style of play seemingly lacking in intensity, here are some of the questions likely to be posed of Southgate ahead of Tuesday’s meeting against Czech Republic.

Harry Kane has struggled to find form for England at Euro 2020

How to get Kane firing

Harry Kane has not even managed a shot in target across his first two games against Croatia and Scotland, continuing his lack of form at international level.

The Tottenham striker has hit just two goals in his last 14 England appearances – contrasting to his club form where he hit 33 times last season.

The 27-year-old is angling for a move away from Spurs this summer but his performances this summer are only likely to demotivate interested clubs who are wary of Kane’s significant transfer fee.

Thus far he has been flanked by Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, with Mason Mount playing in behind the front three.

Kane has excelled at club level when dropping deep and allowing runners in behind – Heung-Min Son, most notably – but this does not happen under Gareth Southgate.

Kane needs pace around him to truly work best, speaking of which…

Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho are keen for starting places for England
Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho are keen for starting places for England

Time for Grealish and Sancho?

Jadon Sancho has yet to play a minute of Euro 2020 so far – despite having 109 direct goal involvements across the past three seasons.

The 21-year-old is reportedly close to joining Manchester United this summer from Borussia Dortmund and is widely recognised as being on the brink of being an elite attacking player.

Sancho offers pace that would theoretically be a superb link-up with Kane due to his pace and goal threat, so surely now must be under consideration for starting.

Jack Grealish is another attacking star who many fans believe should be afforded a starting role – having come on as a second half substitute against Scotland.

The playmaker attracts players to him and drags them out of position, forcing free-kicks and providing ingenuity in the final third.

These two players must be under serious consideration for a starting role against the Czech Republic.

Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson may come back into the England starting line-up
Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson may come back into the England starting line-up

Bring back leader s

Two of England’s most established players have been unable to feature so far at Euro 2020 due to injury and fitness issues.

Manchester United central defender Harry Maguire and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson have so far not been called upon, but are in Gareth Southgate’s squad and may now be brought in.

The performance against Scotland showed an absence of leadership and meaningful direction within the side, with the two influential players missing out due to recovering from injuries.

Maguire would likely replace Tyrone Mings at the heart of England’s defence while Henderson is likely to be a possible replacement for either Kalvin Phillips or Declan Rice.

England struggled to find any rhythm in Friday's Euro 2020 clash against Scotland
England struggled to find any rhythm in Friday’s Euro 2020 clash against Scotland

Change the system?

England have played a 4-3-3 formation at both Euro 2020 matches so far – the same formation they used during the World Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have played at the base of the midfield, which some believe is overly cautious against side whom England should be defeating.

However, as highlighted by, England did not use the formation in any of their six Nations League matches last year – with a 3-4-2-1 formation used four times, alongside a 3-4-3 and 4-1-4-1.

What should England change for the match against Czech Republic? Comment below

Obviously, the primary difference was playing three central defenders and two wing-backs – roles which could allow England to use multiple full-backs as Kyle Walker or Luke Shaw could play in a back three, with the likes of Reece James, Kieran Trippier and Ben Chilwell all well-suited to wing-back roles.

It is unlikely that such a switch will be made mid-tournament, but with the return of Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson, alongside potential changes up front, may prompt a switch.

Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker both started against Croatia for England, but were not selected against Scotland
Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker both started against Croatia for England, but were not selected against Scotland

Who to play at full-back?

Reece James and Luke Shaw played against Scotland while Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier started against Croatia – Ben Chilwell has not yet been involved.

A three-at-the-back formation would allow more than just two players from that group of full-backs to be selected, with Walker and Shaw among those who could be suited to a defensive three.

All possess a different skillset but all have an attacking mindset and all can be used interchangeably.

Whilst some rotation and freshening of the squad is welcome, it is beneficial to have first-choice players in those positions and decisions must be made.

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