Ignore the haters – Conor Gallagher is ready to snatch England starting spot

After two pretty shocking games to start Euro 2024, England manager Gareth Southgate is looking to shake things up, and that’s going to involve bringing Conor Gallagher into his team for the third and final group game, according to sources in the England camp.

Cole Palmer has been glued to the bench, so Gallagher’s cameos off the bench are the only Chelsea representation we’ve had in the England squad. This is a nice next step – though we want to see Palmer tomorrow night too.

Southgate may make other changes, and given how sluggish the performances have been, it feels justified. Chelsea academy product Gallagher could cap a fine season by forcing his way into an England tournament team.

A major chance for a breakout star

We’re super excited to see Conor Gallagher in action tomorrow night from the start for the Three Lions.

Of course there have been people online complaining that a midfield that couldn’t pass in their last game was adding a player not known for his technique. But anyone with half a brain knows that football doesn’t work like that.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham can all pass the ball, but they weren’t doing it against Denmark because of the way they were being used. Introducing a player with lesser passing skill can still help the team pass the ball better, through all manner of methods. In Gallagher’s presence, his running and pressing could help pin Slovenia back so that Rice and Bellingham have more space to operate. Or having him tackling back free them to go into attacking areas more.

All that is for sure is that the balance in the last game was horribly off, with an impossibly lethargic team display. Bringing Gallagher in can only improve on that, and it’s worth a try before the group stage is over.

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1 Comment

  1. Bringing in Gallagher in is by no means a no-brainer. He looks to be a better option than TAA in the midfield but that isn’t saying much. Starting Gallagher guarantees England nothing I’m terms of enlivening the build out. Indeed, due to Gallagher’s well recognized limitations as a technical operator, it’s going to take a shift in tactics—for example, pushing an outside back into the midfield when in possession, a la Cucurella at Chelsea—to free up Rice and Bellingham to do what they do best. Alternatively, if Southgate wants to keep Rice deeper (alongside Gallagher in a double pivot) then he really ought to consider bringing in Palmer as the midfield playmaker. As good as Bellingham is in the final third, he just hasn’t impressed in terms of helping build through the middle third.

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