England supporters and pundits have been salivating over the Three Lions historic 3-2 victory over Spain last night, with plenty of individual performances catching the eye.
The Gareth Southgate revolution continues. A World Cup semi-final in Russia had rekindled the nation’s love for international football following what felt like a lifetime of misery and despair, but the new sense of optimism which has swept across the country culminated last night in Seville.
Raheem Sterling ended his goal-scoring drought, Ross Barkley returned to international duty and looked like a man with a point to prove and Harry Maguire was typically dominant in central defence, but Tottenham’s Harry Winks also earned plenty of admirers on only his 2nd appearance in an England shirt.
With grit and determination at the heart of his energetic display, Winks was always there or thereabouts in fifty-fifty situations and his relentless pressing restricted the Spanish midfield from dictating the tempo.
In the aftermath of proceedings, Daily Telegraph journalist Jason Burt heaped praise on Winks for his display in midfield, noting that he ’emphatically played his part’ in England’s decisive third goal.
‘It was the pressure that Winks applied, quickly closing down Sergio Ramos, intercepting his clearance, that forced Spain back with Busquets flustered into surrendering possession leading to England’s third goal.’
Winks may not have been a constant menace in the final-third, but it was his ability to disrupt the opposition which earned him deserved praise throughout the British media.
As Burt has alluded to, his role was to provide energy in midfield to supplement Eric Dier in his defensive responsibilities, and his pressure ultimately paid dividends on an evening when a 2 goal advantage wouldn’t have been enough to keep the hosts at bay.
The 22-year-old has been accused of living off the hype which surrounded his midfield masterclass at the Bernabeu in October 2017, but subsequent injury problems have prevented him from earning a place in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting eleven.
After his outstanding performance in England’s midfield yesterday evening it may not be too long before Winks establishes himself as a first-team regular as Pochettino begins to prepare for life after Mousa Dembele.
Tottenham fans – thoughts on Winks? Let us know below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!