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Football | Thursday, June 20, 2024 6:59 AM (Revised at: Thursday, June 20, 2024 7:00 AM)

Bellingham needs to become a team player says PL winner

Bellingham needs to become a team player says PL winner
Moritz Müller / Alamy Stock Photo: Trainer Gareth Southgate England

England started off their EURO 2024 campaign with a win against Serbia but it was far from convincing. Trent Alexander-Arnold struggled in midfield, Phil Foden looked lost on the left and the team seemed to lack general cohesiveness.

With the Three Lions set to face Denmark next, we talked to four-time Premier League winner Mikael Silvestre who gave his take on England’s issues, including a hot take on the man of the moment, Jude Bellingham.

Jude Bellingham’s one man show will not win England EURO 2024

Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham was the difference maker against Serbia but Silvestre felt that the midfielder was trying to do too much. He says that Bellingham needs to connect better with the team as his one man show will not help England in achieving their goal of winning EURO 2024

“As much as I like Jude Bellingham, I feel like for some part of the game it was a one man show and you don’t win tournaments like this.”

“I love him and I’ve been a fan since his Birmingham days but if he wants to help England progress, he needs to become more of a team player.”

The Frenchman doesn’t feel that Bellingham is selfish but believes that he has to work on maintaining positional discipline and making his teammates better.

“And maybe be a bit less everywhere. More composed in his positioning. You have to make the other players around you better. That’s the next step he has to take. You have to make the team better, not just yourself.”

“But he’s giving it 100 percent for sure and more. If everyone is up to his level, it’s a different game.”

Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield does not send a good message

The 2003 Confederations Cup winner also criticised Southgate’s decision to start Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

The former Manchester United defender said that starting Alexander-Arnold, a right-back, in midfield doesn’t send a good message to natural midfielders like Connor Gallagher and Kobbie Mainoo.

“England didn’t start as strong as they did at the 2022 World Cup. That’s for sure.”

“When you move Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield, a key position, just before the competition, it doesn’t reassure everybody and it doesn’t send a good message to Connor Gallagher and Kobbie Mainoo when a right-back is starting in that position.”

Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka should start against Denmark

On the other hand, the former Arsenal defender was impressed by the Gunners’ pair of Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka. He praised their performances and sees both of them retaining their spots against Denmark.

“On the back of a solid season for both of them. Declan Rice being very impressive as the shield in front of the back four and penetrative runs going forward as well.

“Bukayo Saka was a constant threat. Defenders are on the edge when he’s running with the ball.”

“He was the one who crossed the ball for Bellingham’s goal. Massive deflection but yeah. Not a full 90 minutes but good enough for him to retain his place and continue.”

Silvestre sees England winning against Denmark as he believes the Three Lions have much more quality than the Danes.

Denmark will find it difficult to defend against England. They are at risk because of the personnel. They lack a bit of pace and with Foden and Saka, they will be exposed. The runs of Bellingham as well.”

“I think England should win that game. Not easy but they should win it.”

Christian Eriksen’s story is fantastic but he won’t be a starter for Man Utd

The ex Man Utd defender acknowledged the fantastic story of Christian Eriksen when he scored against Slovenia. At EURO 2020, the Dane suffered a cardiac arrest in Denmark’s opening game and three years later, he captained and scored for his country.

“The story he’s writing is fantastic. I think it has been around a 1000 days since his cardiac arrest and to have him here, score and captain the team is fantastic.”

“At Denmark, there’s no question about him being a starter.”

Silvestre, however, added that Eriksen cannot be a starter for Man Utd because they also have Bruno Fernandes. He adds that unless they get N’Golo Kante, United cannot start both Eriksen and Bruno as it will make the midfield imbalanced.

“At Man Utd, in the same role, you have Bruno Fernandes and it’s hard to see Eriksen and Bruno playing together unless you have Kante behind them.”

“They’re not the best at defending and it’s not what we expect from them. It’s just a matter of balance.”

“United haven’t been dominant enough to have both of them playing together. That’s the main issue. Otherwise I’m sure they can play together as they are very clever but you need to have balance between defence and offence and with them two it’s shifting towards offence and United haven’t been controlling enough to have them this season and I expect the same for next season.”

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