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Bukayo Saka put in his worst display in an England shirt against the USA on Friday, claims Tony Cascarino. However, the former Chelsea striker says England’s centre-backs were to blame for the Arsenal star’s performance.
Saka was unable to build on the brace he scored in the World Cup opener against Iran on Monday. Gareth Southgate’s side were second best against a USA team who have now drawn their first two matches in Group B.
England were unable to get Saka into the game after he had set up captain Harry Kane for an early chance. The 21-year-old was eventually taken off with 12 minutes of the match remaining.
Raheem Sterling also struggled and he was substituted earlier by Southgate. Cascarino singled out the pair for criticism in his analysis of the match.
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However, he says Saka had no help from John Stones and Harry Maguire at the back. Cascarino claims the central defenders were too slow on the ball, which hampered the wingers’ impact on the game.
He told talkSPORT: “The two wide boys were poor. Sterling one side, Saka probably had his worst game in an England shirt.
“I felt a bit sorry for him because wingers need the ball early. One thing you can’t do is keep passing to each other at the back and then give the winger the ball, and he’s basically got a defender on top of him.
“So what’s he going to do? The next pass is going to be backwards or sideways. It was a very one-paced performance in many, many ways.”
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Southgate was pleased with the result and was far from downbeat when he spoke to the media after the game. However, Cascarino has questioned how USA were allowed to dictate the pace of the match.
He added: “I didn’t come away thinking this is a bad day at the office, I just felt the way [USA] played, you had to try and stretch them, which never happened. [Antonee] Robinson all night played like a left-winger for America.
“This team has got a lot of good players in it but you think, they’re dominating the pace of the play. They played well.”
England will qualify for the knockout stage if they avoid a heavy defeat against Wales on Tuesday. Wales need to beat the Three Lions and hope results go their way for them to have a chance of making it through.
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