Shearer tells Southgate to drop two England players as Three Lions prepare to face Switzerland

Joe Williams
Former England striker Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer during his role as a television pundit.

Alan Shearer thinks England boss Gareth Southgate should drop two players for their Euro 2024 quarter-final clash against Switzerland on Saturday.

The eyes of the nation will be focused on Dusseldorf as the Euro 2020 runners-up continue their quest to go one better by taking on the side 19th in FIFA’s world rankings.

England are fifth in those standings but have yet to show those standards in Germany, where they topped Group C in unconvincing fashion before narrowly avoiding humiliation last weekend.

Jude Bellingham’s stoppage-time stunner took the last-16 clash against Slovakia to extra time, with Harry Kane’s header sealing a 2-1 triumph and quarter-final clash against the Swiss.

Southgate has been criticised for team selection and tactics over the tournament and Shearer reckons the England boss should drop Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka for Anthony Gordon and Cole Palmer against Switzerland.

“I can see what Gareth Southgate is trying to do, but I would much prefer if we were more balanced on the left hand side, hence me wanting Anthony Gordon on that side because I don’t think the Phil Foden thing has worked there,” Shearer told Betfair.

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“I understand they are unbalanced because of Kieran Trippier having to play at left-back, he’s going to have to change again because Guehi is suspended.

“Whether he thinks it is right then to change the system we don’t know. I would be surprised if he did.

“I think Phil Foden has been unlucky, he hasn’t looked comfortable in the system England want to play. That left hand side hasn’t looked right, we haven’t got in behind anywhere near enough on that side.

“His game is he wants to come inside and someone comes on the overlap. That’s been difficult for England to do with the lack of a left footer in Trippier. So, he has been unlucky.

“But he is going to have to make changes because they haven’t played well. I know they’ve won and they’ve got through but they were lucky.

‘”England got lucky the other night, they are into the quarter-finals, they haven’t played well. That has to be a positive because I’m sure that things can only get better.”

Analysing England’s chances against Switzerland, Shearer said: “Switzerland are a really well organised and they’ve got some really good players.

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“An open game may suit them as well because of the pace and talent they have got up front, three really good players.

“And of course [ex-Arsenal captain] Granit Xhaka will want to get on the ball and control it like he did against Italy. They absolutely battered Italy from start to finish, they were miles the better team.

“They like to press from the front, but that might be of benefit to England, it might open the game up.

“Harry Kane after the first two games said that they were slightly confused about how and when to press because of the back threes they were playing against.

“Switzerland play with a back three, so they know that and have time to work on it. Hopefully he is not saying the same thing after this game.”

Despite rumours England will go to three at the back against Switzerland, Shearer isn’t expecting many changes from Southgate, he continued: “I think Gareth will go with a pretty similar line-up. I don’t think he’ll go away from what he’s used in the past, albeit he’ll be looking for a big improvement in the performance.

“This is the time where you have to step up. The Netherlands did it in their last-16 game, Turkey were absolutely outstanding as well. There are some huge games coming up in the quarter-finals, so it’s something to look forward to.”