Roy Keane says he can’t understand why England defender Tyrone Mings didn’t jump to stop Belgium scoring their second goal on Sunday evening.
Youri Tielemans’ deflected strike and a fine Dries Mertens free-kick saw Belgium run out 2-0 winners at Den Dreef, where Roberto Martinez’s men had to dig deep as England applied constant pressure in the second half.
However, it was Mertens’ free-kick that Keane highlighted after the game, with the England wall – including Aston Villa defender Mings – failing to jump in front of the ball.
Keane told ITV Sport: “It’s certainly not a free-kick but you still have to deal with it. What I can’t understand is the wall.
“You have to jump. People talk about players putting it under the wall, but the way he’s running up, he’s clearly going to try and whip it over the wall.
“Why Tyrone Mings doesn’t jump is beyond me, I just don’t understand it.
“It’s a great goal but the wall has to jump. You’ve got to jump, you have to.”
England lacked the required cutting edge to secure a victory from a game that Gareth Southgate felt his side performed better in than last month’s 2-1 win against the same opposition at Wembley.
“We’re always disappointed to lose and to lose tonight puts us out of this competition,” Southgate said after the match.
“But I’ve got to balance that because I have to focus on performances. If you get performances right, then you will normally win matches.
“Some days that won’t happen for you. I think today we were better than we were at Wembley.
“We created more opportunities, we had more of the ball.
“I think two moments in the game – a deflection for the first goal and the second goal I don’t think is a free-kick – were the turning points.
“After that they had a couple of counter attacks – that is inevitable when you’re pushing and pushing as we were.
“But I’m so impressed with the performance of the players.
“We’ve learned a lot about a lot of players – not only their ability but their mentality.
“There were several players in the very early stages in their international careers who were excellent.
“Jack is the obvious one. His performance was outstanding.
“But I also thought Bukayo (Saka) as well coming into a game like that as a very young player against an experienced player like (Thomas) Meunier had an excellent game on the left when he came into it.
“Tyrone (Mings) as well. That’s a level up from the games he’s been in with us before.
“But also some other experienced players who played very well, so I take a lot of positives from it, although of course we don’t want to lose football matches.”
Mark Smith and Matt Stead know all about disappointments. Join them to discover that Chelsea are the only Big Six club without representation on this week’s top ten.