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Alan Shearer: ‘Saka, Grealish and Maguire were excellent against Czech Republic’

| 23.06.2021
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Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering England throughout Euro 2020

There were plenty of positives from the game. I thought the first half was a big improvement from what we saw against Scotland. We closed them down, got behind them, created chances and it was a very good early goal. I thought Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire were very good and now give Gareth Southgate a lot to think about ahead of their next game.

In the second half we sat back again and sort of protected what we had. We can improve again. There is no point peaking too early. We are going to have to improve if we are to reach the quarter-finals as we are going to play one of the big hitters next, I am sure of that.

It was important to win the group to stay at Wembley and we have done that with two wins and three clean sheets. Whoever it is next, they will create their own problems. France, Germany and Portugal are all very good teams who will have their eyes on going all the way too.

There is going to be just over 40,000 fans there next Tuesday. The extra 20,000 spectators will make a big difference. The majority will be behind England so it should be a great occasion.

No goal but Kane’s best performance so far

That was Harry Kane’s best game of the three so far. He had one good chance in the first half where he brought the ball down well and switched it to his right foot. The ‘keeper made a brilliant save to keep it out.

His movement was a lot better yesterday. I would not be concerned at all by the fact he has not scored yet. He is still going to be a very important player for England in the knockout stages of the tournament.

It’s going to be difficult for Mount or Chilwell to be involved in last 16 tie

I can’t quite work it out. I know Gareth Southgate said the same thing after the game yesterday. You can’t tell me that none of the Scottish players came in close contact with Billy Gilmour. They travel with him, train with him and eat alongside him.

I understand the close contact rules but if Mount and Chilwell have to do that, surely the same applies to everyone. It’s unfortunate for both players but sadly we have to deal with it now.

It’s going to be difficult for either player to play any part in the last 16 tie if they have to isolate until Monday. They will have to train on their own and they are not going to be involved in team meetings.

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Author

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer played his entire career at the top level of English football, winning the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1994-95. The following summer he signed for his hometown club, Newcastle United, for a then world record £15 million fee.

He ended his playing career with a record 260 Premier League goals, which still stands today. He also won 63 caps for England, including 34 as captain, and among his 30 international goals were five scored at Euro 96, a total that won him the Golden Boot at that tournament.

Now the chief pundit on Match Of The Day, Alan was one of the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall Of Fame this year.