April 18, 2024

Anthony Gordon’s prospects of being picked to England’s European Championship squad this summer were boosted by an eye-catching debut against Brazil on Saturday, which Gareth Southgate approved of.

Gordon received his first senior call-up and made his first start for the Three Lions at Wembley Stadium, playing 75 minutes before being substituted by Marcus Rashford.

“I thought Anthony was very good,” the England manager stated.

“Both sides of his game looked very accomplished.”

Brazil’s 17-year-old Endrick scored the winner just five minutes after Gordon’s substitution, and the former Everton player will now hope for another chance in Tuesday’s friendly against Belgium.

Despite Saturday’s defeat, the first since their World Cup quarter-final fall to France 15 months ago, Southgate was delighted with England’s performance against the five-time World Cup winners.

“Clearly I don’t like losing football matches, but I thought there were lots of very good individual performances from players who’ve hardly played for England,” he was quoted as saying.

“I thought our more regular guys were excellent.

“You know, with 15 minutes left, we’re thinking, ‘We’ve seen a lot of new players, we’ve had more than our fair share of the game, and we’ve had as many shots on goal as they have.'”

“The difference in the end was one moment, really, and that is the ruthlessness of football at this level.”

Gordon was joined on his debut by Ezri Konsa, who came on in the 20th minute after stand-in skipper Kyle Walker was injured.

The Aston Villa defender filled in at right back, while Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, 18, came on as a substitute 15 minutes later.

Southgate said: “Ezri, to come in at the right time and cope with a player of that caliber (Vinicius Jr), I thought he was outstanding, showed genuine poise, and he should be very pleased with his debut. We were quite delighted with him.

“Kobbie provided an opportunity for him to test the waters. We needed to refresh part of the players because we had to limit their minutes a little bit, which is an unusual position for a game of that scale, but that’s where we are.

“Getting Kobbie on the pitch was a fantastic experience for him and his family. You saw a handful of turns and a couple of extremely calm moments, which is a little hint of what he might become.”

Southgate was waiting to determine the seriousness of Kieran Walker’s injury, which forced him off in the first half, adding the right-back was unclear “whether it’s just tightness”.

But the England manager feels “it’s a little bit more than that,” implying he will miss Tuesday’s friendly against Belgium.

Southgate expects Cole Palmer and Jordan Henderson to be available for the game, but captain Harry Kane has revealed he will miss it due to an ankle injury.

“Yeah, he will go back,” he said. “He will not be ready for Tuesday.

“(Henderson and Palmer) trained today, so they got through it okay.

“They should join the group that will train tomorrow and we’ll go from there with that.”

With Kane sidelined and Ollie Watkins tasked with leading the line against Brazil, the Belgium friendly will almost certainly present an opportunity for Ivan Toney to start.

 

Anthony Gordon reveals why he chose England over Scotland | The Independent

 

The one-cap striker was an unused substitute on a rare night when England did not score.

“We are playing a top team so chances are going to be limited,” Southgate told the BBC.

“Perhaps we had opportunities from set plays to capitalize on one of them, which can frequently make the difference in close games.

“However, I was quite delighted with the players that came in. We need to learn more about them and where we might go if we didn’t have Harry for a big match.

“I thought Ollie did a good job, didn’t get that clear chance on goal that you might want as a forward but a lot of his work was very, very good.”

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