Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has been critical of Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips following England’s 0-0 draw against Scotland.
The Lowdown: Phillips struggles in stalemate
Phillips was Man of the Match in the Three Lions’ tournament opener last weekend, shining in midfield as his country beat Croatia 1-0 at Wembley and being hailed as ‘immense’ by manager Gareth Southgate.
The 25-year-old was less effective in Friday’s stalemate with Scotland, however, failing to stamp his usual authority on proceedings on a disappointing night.
It was a team performance which has received much criticism, but a number of individuals have also been getting some negative press.
The Latest: Vieira criticises Leeds hero
Speaking on ITV Sport [via MOT Leeds News], Vieira felt that Phillips was too cautious on the ball against Scotland, along with midfield colleague Declan Rice. The three-time Premier League winner said:
“I think when you look at England, they’re in a good place but if you ask ‘why don’t they create good chances’, I believe the holding midfielders, Rice and Phillips, are both ball-winners, it’s not their strength to be good with the ball.
“I think there’s a lack of creativity, a lack of seeing the game really quick and trying to find players between the lines. Too many passes backwards and safe passes sideways.
“They didn’t take enough risks.”
The Verdict: Unfair negativity
While Phillips was somewhat below-par against Scotland (no shots or key passes, only one successful tackle), it is unfair by Vieira to suggest that he is a limited footballer in terms of his quality on the ball.
Hopefully he will retain his place against the Czech Republic on Tuesday evening, showing the world what a top-class midfielder he truly is and proving that the night against Scotland was a rare off-day.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly ‘confident’ of signing one player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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