Exclusive: Anderton picks three England ‘positives’ at Euro 2024 as Southgate’s biggest mistake revealed

Jason Soutar
Former England international Darren Anderton
Former England international Darren Anderton

Former England international Darren Anderton believes Gareth Southgate playing “too safe” has been his biggest mistake at Euro 2024.

England are through to the last 16 of this summer’s European Championship – where they will likely face the Netherlands – after winning Group C.

It was a very unconvincing group stage showing from the Three Lions, who backed up an unconvincing 1-0 win over Serbia with an abysmal performance against Denmark and another poor display against Slovenia, drawing both of those matches.

Gareth Southgate’s men did at least show some improvement against the Slovenians but the goalless draw has left the England fans wanting a lot more.

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While there is nothing but negativity surrounding England right now, we asked ex-Tottenham winger Darren Anderton if there is anything he has liked from the Three Lions in Germany.

“England have topped the group, so this is great, as the draw is now opening up for them,” Anderton told Football365 (via William Hill).

“Defensively England have been solid, so this is a positive.

“[Cole] Palmer, [Anthony] Gordon and [Kobbie] Mainoo have done well when they have come on, so this is another positive for England moving into the knock out stages.

“Hopefully the players haven’t used too much energy as the knockout stages are upon us.”

Moving back to the negative things about England at Euro 2024, Anderton was asked what Southgate’s biggest mistake of the tournament has been.

Anderton believes he has set his side up to play “too safe”, which has made England “easy to defend against”.

“England are too safe,” he said. “There is a lack of movement during the game.

“It’s been easy to defend against England and Southgate has to release our attacking players to show what they do for their clubs.

“Phil Foden looks too much restricted and some of our play has been at walking pace.

“Southgate must give the players freedom to express themselves in the way we know they can do and show week in, week out in the Premier League.

“It’s been a tough watch, but we must look to get the best out of these talented players.”

📣 TO THE COMMENTS! Can you take any positives from England at Euro 2024? Join the debate here.

Asked which of Ange Postecoglou’s players at Tottenham have impressed him the most, Anderton picked out Romanian centre-back Radu Dragusin.

He said: “The Romanian centre-half Dragusin has impressed me so far of all the Spurs players at the tournament.

“In the first half we was excellent against Ukraine and also did OK on the ball against Belgium.”

More: Tottenham | England news | Euro 2024 news