Gary Neville fears “individual errors” made by England’s defence will cost them at Euro 2021 next summer.
The Three Lions slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Denmark in the Nations League on Wednesday night, with Harry Maguire and Reece James both brandished red cards at Wembley.
Maguire’s sending off on the half-hour mark, which saw the Manchester United centre-back pick up two deserved bookings for a pair of poorly-time challenges, proved costly on a disappointing evening for Gareth Southgate’s men.
Christian Eriksen netted the winner from the penalty spot four minutes later, albeit in controversial fashion when Kyle Walker was penalised for brushing Thomas Delaney in the box.
The Manchester City ace was not helped by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, however, who was caught in no man’s land when the original ball was played into his area.
And after a number of contentious decisions went against them in a frustrating second half, James was shown red after the full-time whistle for what UEFA have confirmed was “foul and abusive language”.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Southgate and co in their final outing of the latest international break.
Harry Maguire is known as 'Slab Head' and he really looks like he has concrete for brains
There are only eight months to go until England take on Croatia in their opening Euro 2021 fixture, which will kick start their bid to win the competition for the first time in their history.
But ahead of the crucial tournament, former Three Lions right-back Neville has raised doubts over the defensive options at Southgate’s disposal.
While commentating on England’s defeat against Denmark, the Sky Sports pundit said: “The biggest doubt I have about England winning a tournament next year is individual errors. The backline and the goalkeeper [Pickford].”
Maguire’s alarming form for club and country will come as a major concern to Southgate, and Neville admitted the United defender’s red card capped what has a miserable few months for him.
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“That sums up his last 4-6 weeks. Terrible time for him,” he said.
“I thought he was lucky with the first challenge. That was in between a yellow and a red.
“It's scruffy play from him. The touch is really slack and then the follow through…”
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