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‘Panicked’ Gallagher earns 4/10 in stalemate

England 0-0 Slovenia

COLOGNE — England topped their Euro 2024 group but were booed off by supporters in Cologne after another poor display, this time against Slovenia.

Gareth Southgate’s side created barely anything of note all evening, but did at least keep their second clean sheet in three games.

Besides that and finishing first in Group C it was a night of few positives for the Three Lions.

Here’s how we rated England’s players out of 10:

Jordan Pickford – 6/10

A virtual bystander for most of the game, making his only save in the fourth minute – and it was a comfortable one from Sesko at that. Dealt well with a Walker back pass that was fizzed into his feet and swept up well on the rare occasions he was required to do so.

Kyle Walker – 5/10

Frequently looked displeased with himself, especially when he shanked a cross over the bar from a promising position to kill a promising chance stone dead. Doesn’t have many off days but this was one of them.

John Stones – 7/10

Marshalled Slovenia’s main man Sesko well but had a goalbound header blocked by the RB Leipzig frontman virtually on the line. Distributed the ball neatly, completing 84 of his 86 passes in total.

Marc Guehi – 6/10

Made a shaky start with a poor pass intended for Rice going straight to a blue shirt and earned himself a caution by hauling Sporar to the ground later on after misjudging the flight of the ball. Largely acquitted himself well otherwise but this was probably his weakest match of the tournament so far.

Kieran Trippier – 5/10

Still looks uncomfortable on his wrong side which perhaps contributed towards his early booking for a rash, studs-up challenge on Karnicnik.

Routinely slowed England attacks down by outright refusing to use his left foot.

In the interests of balance, he did whip a brilliant inswinging cross into the box that both Gallagher and Kane missed towards the end of the first half.

Conor Gallagher – 4/10

Didn’t touch the ball in the first 10 minutes and when he finally did it was a panicked one inside his own box. Lost possession a few times in poor areas and was replaced by Mainoo at the break. Southgate’s midfield experiment didn’t work and the Chelsea midfielder would do well to start another game this tournament.

Declan Rice – 6/10

Unusually slack in possession at the start of the game. Made a lot more forward runs than he did in the first two matches and fired a decent volley wide after playing a slick one-two following one such charge into the box.

Bukayo Saka – 5/10

England’s Player of the Year in 2022 and 2023 hasn’t yet hit his stride in 2024. Tapped a Foden cross into an empty net but his celebrations were quickly cut short by a raised flag. Otherwise it was another subdued showing from Arsenal’s starboy.

Jude Bellingham – 5/10

Cut a very frustrated figure and took his irritation out on one of the advertising boards after a long ball forward skipped away from him, before needlessly barging Janza in the back.

Ran himself into the ground in a bid to look busy but succeeded in only knackering himself out. Shot Southgate a withering look after one failed pressing attempt. After a sensational opening 20 minutes against Serbia his influence has waned worryingly.

Phil Foden – 7/10

England’s bright spark (not that that’s saying much) managing as many touches as Kane and Bellingham combined in the first-half.

Forced a decent stop from Oblak with a free-kick and buzzed around in the final third. Faded a little as the game wore on and picked up a silly booking for back chatting to the referee.

Still isn’t quite “on fire” as the chant goes, but he looked closer to his Manchester City vintage at least.

Harry Kane – 6/10

Had his first sighter on goal half an hour in but curved a shot straight down Oblak’s throat. Picked out Bellingham with a long-range laser that few players in the world could replicate. Sprinted more in the first two minutes than he did in 70 against Denmark, but otherwise was largely ineffectual.

Substitutes:

Kobbie Mainoo – 7/10

Settled into the game seamlessly, injecting some energy and purpose into England’s play. Always showed for the ball and looked comfortable on only his fifth senior appearance. Did enough to earn a starting place in the last-16.

Cole Palmer – 6/10

Similarly to Mainoo he produced a lively cameo off the bench, although he fluffed his big chance with a soft finish into Oblak’s gloves late on. His introduction drew the loudest cheer of the night from the travelling fans who will be eager to see him get more game time in the knockouts.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – N/A

Brought on in his natural position of right-back to add some creativity but didn’t have enough time to make his mark.

Anthony Gordon – N/A

Got a token few minutes at the end of the game. Why did Southgate bother picking him if he wasn’t going to use him?

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