David Lyons has is in early on the email, and I fear he might not be the cheeriest workmate today.
“It has all been a veneer, that England’s football team had grown into the type of mould that could win a World Cup in 2018. To do so takes real class, honed over decades of passing and technique allied to a quick mind on and off the ball, the latter is all to do with the reading of the game.
Alli and Lingard were cruelly exposed at the top or near the top level, France and Belgium are the top level, they were toothless in the England midfield, outclassed by Croatians who choose to ply their trade in Serie A and La Liga rather than the Premier League. Kane dropped ever deeper against Colombia and did so last night, to the detriment of his personal game, so crucial to the side.
Winning by headers from free kicks and corners and from penalties is not winning by scoring with outstanding passing play in open play. Stones is an accident waiting to happen all the time, at City and for England. A hype player who is not really flourishing under Guardiola into a world class centre back. Sterling can run and flick passes but he cannot shoot for toffee.”
I’m not sure I agree with all of those sentiments but the idea of English players benefiting from moving abroad is definitely one that i think needs revisiting. Considering the core of this group is reasonably young and the next generation coming through is as exciting as any crop in recent times, exposure in different leagues may be the missing piece in the jigsaw.