Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli both start for England against Nigeria

Adjust Comment Print

Former players Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard had admitted in a television show that one of the key reasons why England never succeeded in the World Cup in the past decade despite the presence of big names was a lack of cohesion among the team members.

Manager Gareth Southgate kept faith in the 23-year-old and started him against Nigeria.

"He knows he's got our support, he understands how some people have perceived the tattoo", Southgate said Friday.

But Alli opted to represent the place of his birth, and where he was raised, first pulling on an England shirt in 2012 with an appearance for their under-17 side. "His decision making was good although he was rarely tested".

First-half goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane helped England to victory, and Nigerians on social media shared their frustrations with the team that will be taking on on Lionel Messi's Argentina, Croatia and Iceland at the World Cup. "It took us seven or eight minutes to get to grips with their change of system - they obviously made four substitutions, went to a back three - we didn't quite work out their midfield quickly enough".

"What that did mean is that there was a little lift in the game that we had to cope with and manage, and that was a decent exercise for us to adjust to that". I think that's why we had some problems in the first half, I think the second half we corrected some mistakes and we played a lot better.


Overall the match was a real positive for England, but the second-half display shows Southgate still has work to do if his team are to make an impact in Russian Federation.

The game is being played at Wembley, shown on ITV, and people on social media are going insane over their gorgeous design.

'We don't want to do that. He has kept working hard, kept his focus and I think you saw a performance that, apart from scoring a goal, he was very lively. "It was great to score - it's always nice for a striker and now I'm looking forward to the game on Thursday".

Nigeria, in Group D, will play their first game on June 16.

But England held on easily, in what was a relatively quiet second half.

"It was awesome to get on the pitch, that's all we work for is to be on the pitch week in, week out, and it was just really nice to get on the pitch and get the win".

Comments