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Gary Neville believes playing Kieran Trippier as a left-back isn’t a “temporary measure” and could remain in place for England’s tournament moving forward.
Gareth Southgate faced significant backlash ahead of their Euro 2020 opener for a number of controversial selection calls.
The biggest of which was Trippier’s inclusion, despite having Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell both at his disposal.
Southgate lauded the Atletico Madrid defender following the 1-0 victory, hailing him as a ‘defensive animal’.
"I think people are still seeing the lad that was at Spurs a couple of years ago and not the defensive animal that has grown at Atletico Madrid, trusted by one of the best and most successful coaches in the world [Diego Simeone],” the England boss explained.
Gareth Southgate opted to start Kieran Trippier at left-back against Croatia
"He gets his distances right on cover, he’s good one-v-one to stop crosses, and his talking is really good. We had a back four, there was always going to have changes in it on Sunday and we felt that communication, that organisation was an important part.”
And Neville believes that organisation and defensive discipline could be set to stay, predicting he will stay there for their crunch clash with Scotland at Wembley.
Gareth Southgate urged to start Jack Grealish and drop two England stars against Scotland
Gary Neville's Harry Maguire "fear" as he outlines strict England timeline ahead of Scotland clash
“Listening to Southgate I feel he will stick with Trippier at left back,” Neville posted on Twitter. “He referenced the solidity of the French team. That made me feel he wants a more narrow back 4 and one that sticks together when in possession.
“This would change if we were losing but not sure it’s a temporary measure.”
Southgate’s other huge dilemma is whether or not to risk Manchester United defender Harry Maguire.
Gary Neville thinks Southgate could stick with Trippier in the starting XI
How many changes should England make when they face Scotland? Have your say here
He missed the win over Croatia, as he recovers from the ankle injury which ended his club season.
Maguire has since returned to training with the main group and could be in contention for Friday’s match.
Neville thinks that the United skipper must “surface” before the end of the group stage, or face up to the prospect of missing out on the entire tournament.
“I think that Maguire, if he can get back to a level in between matches, he will come back in,” he told Sky Sports on Wednesday.
“But then, I think it’s interesting, if he was going to come back in I think he has to come back in certainly against Scotland and if it is not against Scotland, it has to be against Czech Republic in the last [group] game.
“You couldn’t make Harry Maguire’s first game a knockout game. So Harry Maguire must surface in the next two matches, else I fear you won’t see him for the rest of the tournament and it will be Mings and Stones.”