Gareth Southgate had a couple of tough decisions to make before England’s opening World Cup match against Tunisia.
Who would play in goal?
Would it be Danny Rose or Ashley Young at left wing-back?
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 18, 2018
Would it be Gary Cahill or Harry Maguire as the third centre-back?
Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford supporting Harry Kane?
But the toughest decision appeared to be in midfield. It was a straight-up choice between Jordan Henderson or Eric Dier for the holding position – with the Liverpool man getting the vote.
And Henderson thanked Southgate with a solid performance during England’s 2-1 win against Tunisia.
Henderson is often criticised for playing too safe at times but produced some decent forward passes to get England on the attack.
And one man that was very impressed with him was Gary Neville.
During ITV’s analysis of Henderson’s display, Neville called Henderson a “manager’s dream” before claiming that he’s made that midfield slot his own.
“His game’s changed so much. Think about four years ago when Liverpool nearly won the league under Brendan Rodgers… he was a box-to-box midfield player and Steven Gerrard was sitting in there,” Neville said.
“Now he has evolved his game, he’s matured. He’s able to do what Martin’s just showed us in terms of sitting back. He wouldn’t have been able to do that a few years ago.
“He wants to learn all the time, he works hard, he’s conscientious, he’s a manager’s dream. And tonight — when he was under pressure (from Dier) to win the spot, he looks like he’s cemented his spot.”
There will still be plenty of haters that aren’t convinced by Henderson but even they can’t deny he produced a promising performance in Volgograd.