Alan Shearer Exclusive: Phil Foden needs to play as number 10

Former England, Newcastle, Blackurn and Southampton striker Alan Shearer
Shearer: "I would play Bellingham alongside Rice and Foden as the 10"

Betfair Ambassador, Alan Shearer gives his thoughts on England ahead of their next Euros match, backs Harry Kane to score goals this summer, has his say on the situation at Manchester United and more...

  • Harry Kane will score goals

  • Phil Foden needs to play as a number 10

  • I would make two changes for Denmark game

  • Man United have undermined Erik Ten Hag

England Superboost

Don't fix what isn't broken they say, so Betfair are going again with the exact same Superboost selection in Denmark v England.

You can back Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham each to be fouled 1 or more times vs Denmark at 1/12.00, Superboosted up from 1/21.50!

The same selection won at a canter on MD1 vs Serbia, with Kane winning his first foul in the 55th minute to add to a couple that Bellingham had already won in the first half.

Indeed, Kane (6) and Bellingham (4) were fouled 10 times combined in the opening game, and will no doubt be targeted once again.

Heading into the Serbia match, the duo had been fouled 55 times between them in their last 15 England appearances, but their average has now risen to over 4 fouls won per game across their last 16 international caps.

Back the Superboost here!

England got the job done and can now build on positives

I think if we look at the bigger picture, it was a clean sheet and a win. Notoriously England have been poor in the first games over the years in European Championships. Before the other night we'd only won one in the last 10.

We need to look at what's happened to Italy, they won, just, Holland won, just, Belgium were beaten. Spain and Germany were impressive but there's plenty to work and improve on, but I'm not down about the performance, how can you be too down after winning the opening game?

I know there's a lot of negativity around and people are trying to pick holes in certain things but overall I thought it was a decent start.

Let's not forget, for 35 minutes, England were superb they went out and started the game really well, had loads of energy, everyone was playing really well and there was a buzz about them. Last 10 minutes of the first half and particularly the second half they ran out of ideas and were suffering out of possession. I know they had to stick together and work hard, it wasn't a good second half but the vast majority of the first half was. In the main, I'm happy with the result.

I have no concerns about Harry Kane, he will score goals

Harry Kane fist pump Euro 2024.jpg

Without touching the ball hardly in the first half, Harry Kane had a role to play, in terms of staying upfront and trying to keep defender occupied, which left space for the other players.

In the second half he came deeper and deeper and I don' think that really helped the team. In the last 10 or 15 minutes he went upfront more because every time we were defending and winning the ball we were kicking it back upfront and there was no one there to fight and battle for it because he was trying to help out the defence as well. We needed him to stay up front, win the ball and get free kicks, which he did.

As a centre forward, I wouldn't be too concerned when you're not having touches of the ball, it's different for players in other positions, because as a striker you only need one touch that matters and he had his big chance, when Bowen came on and did really well in the second half, he had that great header, but it was an unbelievable save from the goalkeeper and that is life at international level.

You might not be involved in the game, then all of a sudden you get that one opportunity and sometimes that's all you need, unfortunately for him it didn't go in the other night, but I'm not one to worry when strikers don't have too much of the ball, particularly at international level, because you know you're going to get that one chance.

I'm not worrying about Harry Kane, he's experienced enough, he's played at this level, he's won a golden boot in the World Cup. He will score goals, I have no doubt about it.

I would make two changes for the game against Denmark

I wouldn't call it a big concern, but the more pressing thing is what happens to Trent in midfield, I thought he did alright without being spectacular. Is Phil Foden going to continue to play on the left hand side?

I don't think having a right footed left back in Trippier helps Foden, because every time you're getting the ball, you are receiving it on the inside. Those are the things I'd be looking at.

The two talking points are who plays alongside Rice and who plays on that left side. Saka on the right in the first half was unplayable, he tied the two left sided players inside out, in the second half he didn't really have a kick because they came out and did much better.

I would play Bellingham alongside Rice and Foden as the 10, which is where he wants to play.

I don't think that would be a problem at all, you're playing Bellingham with Rice so you free up that left side for someone who can run in behind, whether that would be Eze or Gordon. That's what I would have done and that's what I'd do against Denmark.

We need Foden in the number 10 role to get the best out of him

He wants to have the freedom and I think England have given him that, even after five minutes into the game he was on the right, he has got the freedom to move and go wherever he wants but when Bellingham is playing in a 10 role then it's difficult for him to go over there and go into a crowded space.

When you're playing against a packed defence, like England were against Serbia then it's really important to keep your width, with Saka one side and Foden the other, almost getting the chalk on their boots from the touchlines.

That's how you make it difficult for the opposition, but of course Foden doesn't want to do that, Saka doesn't mind but that's not Foden's game, he wants to roam and he wants to come inside, I'd feel better if he was in the 10 role and I don't think that would crowd it up, Bellingham would sit alongside Rice and he would then have the freedom to go forward if he wanted to do that.

Southgate has phenomenal options available to him

Southgate Eng.jpg

There's no risk in changing things, you've won the game, you look at the positives and you ask why things happened, how things happened, you look at the negatives and look at how you can improve.

We've got a squad of 26 players, of which the vast majority would have no problem with going in the starting line up, it's great to have options. The options he has got, one on the left side and two in the middle of the park are phenomenal.

It's not dangerous to change it up, it's dangerous to make six or seven changes which he won't, but he may make one or two.

Jordan Pickford is one of England's best keepers

He's never ever let England down when he has played. There was a moment the other night when he came for a cross when he punched it, I thought he should have caught it but the save he made when England were under pressure was a really important one. There's no doubt he's England's best goalkeeper, and has been for a while. You can see that he has the confidence about him, I have no fear or worry about having him in goal.

He can get excited now and again, I guess if you're not involved for long periods then you look to do something, but I don't think that's a worry at all.

England players will be raring to go after a few days of downtime

On the days in-between matches you listen to all the talk, you're constantly watching football every day, if you love it like I do, they'll have the cinema room in the hotel with the matches on, but you just want to get out and play, there's so much talk that's going around, you've had the win and you feel as if you can get going again and get your confidence building.

They'll be looking at all the opposition and thinking 'Ok, there's maybe Germany and Spain that have impressed, but other than that no one has sort of stood out'.

As a player, you just want to get out and play, you don't want to sit around for days on end, you understand you need the rest, but I think they would have looked at everyone's opinions, they would have listened to what the management say and they will be ready to go again. You just want to start again.

Christian Eriksen's story is amazing, it's a miracle


It was a great story for Christian Eriksen to score in their game against Slovenia. With what happened to him three years ago, it was really doubtful if he'd ever play football again, it was a miracle that he can get back out onto a football pitch, let alone go and represent his country again and score at the European Championships. That was an amazing story for him and for football.

England v Denmark prediction

I think when you look at Denmark, who they are and how they play, I would view it very much like I did the first game for England, I would expect us to win the game and build their confidence. It won't be easy but it would be a game I would expect England to win.

I think we'll score at least a couple of goals and I can see us getting a 2-0 or 3-0 victory.

Manchester United have undermined Erik Ten Hag

Away from the Euros it's been confirmed that Erik Ten Hag will stay on as the manager of Manchester United. Considering he had a bit of a pop at pundits after the FA Cup final, it was really interesting to see him being a pundit himself on television recently. But what a mess it's been. How kind of Man United to go to Ibiza and inform him that he's still wanted as the manager, and then tell him that they've even spoken to other candidates.

It's just a bizarre situation, it's not how things should be done in football. If you are going to speak to other managers then speak to them, but keep it in house, you can't let the public know.

To be undermined like he has done, I know they're now saying that he has their support and they want him to carry on, but from a personal and human point of view it's not the right way to treat someone.

It takes a lot of his power away from him, will the players look at him and think he's a really strong manager and he's in a strong position? Probably not because of the way they have treated him. It was meant to be all new at Old Trafford with the very best coming in, I don't think they've got off to a good start.

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