Former England striker Alan Shearer says that England’s defence will stop them getting to the final of Euro 2016.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Shearer was scathing of the quality of England’s central defenders, pointing out that John Stones has had a defensive “nightmare” over the last four months.
Shearer believes that the other teams in the tournament will be well aware of England’s weaknesses, and exploiting those will hamper our progression.
“Would I be scared of England’s defenders?” Shearer told the Daily Mirror. “They wouldn’t worry me if I was a forward, and I’m sure other teams have done their homework.
“At international level you should always know the player you’re playing against, inside out, and I’m sure everyone will do their homework on England’s centre halves.
“Defending in general has been a weakness for England at recent tournaments, whether it’s big long balls down the middle that players have failed to attack or head clear, or Gary Cahill losing Mario Balotelli at the far post at the last World Cup.
“We’ve been caught out too many times and my worry is defensively in this tournament, definitely.
“When you look at centre halves in general, there’s a dearth of them. We’ve got Cahill and Chris Smalling, but John Stones had a nightmare defensively for the last three or four months of the season.
“A great tournament would be getting to the final and winning it, but realistically I don’t think we’ll do that because my big worry is our defence, certainly straight down the middle anyway.”
England had one of the best defensive records in Euro 2016 qualifying, but their clean sheet against Portugal last week was their first in five matches.