WHAT JAMES MADDISON WOULD HAVE BROUGHT TO ENGLAND’S SQUAD

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Right before the start of the ongoing EURO 2020, many have thought that perhaps this is the year that the three lions would make England proud. Even at the base of their world of their 2018 World Cup outing in Russia, maybe the EURO 2020 would be a perfect chance to climb the ladder of champion once again after which their last triumph in any major competition comes in 1966.

Although, the English team is one of the favorite to scoop the gong prior to the start of the competition but according to the Euro Cup stat and coefficient as the tournament progress, the Three Lions have fall in the pecking order while the likes of Orange (Netherlands) and Azzuri (Italy) have had their chances increased based on their outing so far, but the Three Lions still possess considerably effect of pulling some great performance with the set of squad at the disposal of Gareth Southgate. 

Moreover, maybe it could have been a different story if the England boss, Gareth South gate in his believe have had the touch of faith in the Leicester man, James Maddison.

Although, the Three Lions is with one of the best squad in the tournament as the likes of Mason Mount, Phil Foden, and Jack Grealish will surely be a creative leg for the team while the likes Kelvin Philips, Declan Rice, and Jordan Henderson can provide the base of security for the team to advance in midfield and not to mention the potency of Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal, coupled with the dynamism that the team can have with the crop player at the disposal of Gareth Southgate currently. 

But, the inclusion of James Maddison in the current crop of players would have given a basis to further establish an energetic and creativity for the England squad that looks lost anytime they step on the Wembley turf like it’s their first appearance at the stadium. However, below are some of the magic that James Maddison would have brought to England’s squad if he had been part of the EURO 2020 squad.

Diversity 

With Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, and Jack Grealish at the base of the Three Lion creativity for the on-going EURO 2020, the directness of their play is quite predictable which gave the likes of Scotland the time and chance to predict the movement of England’s attack thus leading to unadventurous time for England’s skipper to be shot out of the play completely. 

The direct run of Sterling and Foden, the pocket pass of Mason Mount, and the trick and dribbling tenacity of Jack Grealish when he came on board was rightly predicted by the Scottish team that came preparing for England’s play all through the night on 18th of June, in group-D second fixtures

Moreover, with Maddison inclusion in the team, the essence of diversity can be the hidden card for the Gareth Southgate side that looks lost throughout the match without a direction on how to attack the Scots.

Like Foden, the impeccability of Maddison to play from wing or middle of the midfield base is an outlet addition and while he can sit deep in the midfield to dictate the attack is seconded to one in the current squad at the disposal of the Southgate.

More so, his creativity, vision, directness, tricks, dribbling, composure, and tenacity is the like combining all the functions of the midfielders that Gareth decided to trust with the task of bringing the EURO Cup home in this edition. 

Thus, for the Three Lions to become victorious in this tournament, something extraordinary must be the watchword of the players that are favored by England’s coach in the absence of Maddison that can bring diversity in the approach of team that set their eye on directness and wing plays. 

Freshness

While the season had been so short, the games getting too long, the intensity is of the Premier League campaign is getting high every day, and the inability of the league to proffer a substitution mechanism that would allow the team to add freshness to their squad. 

Many of the Three Lion’s players ply their trade in the Premier League. Thus, many of the players except the injured ones have fatigue issues to deal with in the ongoing EURO 2020. 

More so, the likes of Jordan Henderson that has been out for a long period of time is still yet to be declared fit for such intensified match at this edition of the EURO cup while the shining light in the width of the England attack, Raheem Sterling had been benched for a longer time by Pep Guardiola. 

Thus, the inclusion of James Maddison who was excluded from the squad by Southgate could have added a bit of freshness to the squad to raise their intensity. And while Southgate believes the constant injury sustained by Maddison could have prevented him from considering the Leicester City number 10, but his inclusion of Henderson couldn’t have been so wrong and his justification to bring along three to four right-back have ensured that team will short in the midfield which could have been given to Maddison.

Thus it wasn’t the injury but the lack of faith in Maddison by the boss is the reason for his exclusion and the Three Lion is suffering from the freshness that Maddison could have easily brought in had he was given the chance by the England coaching crew 

Goal threat from midfield 

While Phil Foden was creating and scoring for fun in the just concluded season in English Premier League for the Champions of England, Manchester City, Mason Mount was doing the trick for the Champions League winner, Chelsea FC, Jack Grealish was at the heart of meaningful Aston Villa run until he was injured and barely play for the Villa Part’s team till the end of the season. 

However, not one of these possesses a goal threat like Maddison, right from creativity, dead ball conversion, long-range effort defense splitting pass, and composure in the heart or edge of the opposition box. 

Maddison might not have commanded the form he shown in the 2019/2020 season and his season might have been marred by the series of an injury picked throughout the season, but on his day, the Englishman is a threat to defense from midfield. With 8 goal and 5 assists from limited game time which was forced through injury, the Leicester City number 10 still manage to bring more than the expected goal return. 

Out of all the current midfielders entrusts by the England boss, only Phil Foden is a sure goal threat player while, Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, and Jordan Henderson are not a player that brings an addition to the team’s goal surge except on some occasion where they are found in the right place at the right time.

Mason Mount on the other hand have had ample goals and created so many chances but with his directness of play and lack of long-range effort, his ability to be a threat in from of goal has always been at the box but when facing a compact deep-lying team, it becomes so difficult for the current crop of England’s midfielders to bring about goal threat.

But with James Maddison, his ability to try a long-range effort with his shot accuracy and his ability to pinpoint his attackers from a long-range pass at the depth of his team box-18 makes him impeccable and gruesome for the opponent that wishes to attack his team on full force; Manchester City demolition by Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on 27th of September, 2020 was an example of what the Englishman can do when an opponent is attacking his team too much. 

However, with Harry Kane having a below-par tournament in spite of his standard and judging by his end of stat where he won the best playmaker award and the golden boot, this competition has been a nightmare for England’s skipper and without his midfield cast been able to bring goals despite his lackluster outing, England will keep having issue and this might have been easily resolved if Maddison had been included in the England EURO 2020 squad by Gareth Southgate. 

Gareth Southgate opinion on James Maddison omission 

Although, James Maddison, has always been a fringes of the England’s Three Lions and Southgate felt Maddison was a victim of an injury-plagued season and an abundance of competition in the attacking midfield roles. But his diversity and ability to cook up goals out of nothing could have set him aside ahead of the rest. Unfortunately!!! The England boss didn’t see it that way. 

While Southgate further explained that: ‘It’s an area of the pitch where we’ve got unbelievable competition for places and we just feel there are players that are ahead of James in those areas of the pitch. 

He’s had a season that, unfortunately for him, has been disrupted by injury and in more recent weeks he hasn’t always necessarily been starting as well.”

The England boss further buttressed his view on Maddison omission “It’s been quite interesting; he hasn’t been taking set plays I’ve noticed. [Youri] Tielemans has been taking their set plays, which I don’t know if there’s something more involved in that. But in simple terms we feel we’ve got players in those areas of the pitch that, at the moment, we see them as just ahead of James.”

Moreover, with England hilly attempt to bring the success back to England and their task to make the Englishmen felt the joy they last had in 1966 when they won the FIFA World Cup, their direct approach to the game and high intensity could well be in jeopardy if Harry Kane failed to be his monstrous self once and with the inability of the midfielder to find their goal-scoring feat and creative boot, the job will be more difficult to successfully carry out in the end. 

Only if James Maddison’s diversity, freshness, and his goal threat had been considered by England’s boss, but their chances can once again be validated if the midfielders up their game or Harry Kane tournament finally find a turnaround.

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