score and latest updates from final match before 2022 World Cup
Just waiting for the match
and Gary Neville, no less, is on Channel 4 News talking about footballers speaking out about inequality, the country’s finances and why the government is removing the cap on bankers bonuses.
“The pound is tanking, probably lower than my reputation in Liverpool.
[On bankers bonus cap being removed] “There is a lack of connection to the real world. People are desperate, thinking how am I going to feed my family, heat the house. I feel as if you cannot see a doctor for two months, I cannot feel comfortable with that.”
Gary also says he is not becoming a Labour MP.
Here’s Mike McGrath
The German press
gave the Die Mannschaft a bit of a kicking.
“Gnabry and Raum are the new problem cases,” said Spiegel. “The difficult period for Germany’s Bayern players was clear to see. Gnabry is completely out of form. Almost no Germany player reached their normal level against Hungary.”
The last time Germany lost before that
– and they don’t lose many – was in the Euros against England last summer. Sterling scored on 75 minutes and Kane on 86. Answer came there none from the Germans and England went through to the quarters.
That’s Hansi Flick
the German coach.
He’s got a few tough questions to solve himself. The Germans were beaten by Hungary in Leipzig on Friday. They’ve got one more match before the World Cup, a friendly against Oman a week before the tournament.
God Save The King
will be sung before the match.
One notable absentee tonight
will be Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been left out of England’s matchday squad. Gareth said earlier that “everybody with us is fit, so no issues” so this has to be seen as an omission not a fitness matter. Interesting one, isn’t it? A quite brilliant player going forward, but it appears Southgate does not like the cut of his defensive jib.
Here’s Mike McGrath with the story.
And here is some analysis about it. ‘Trent Alexander-Arnold can be England’s Cafu – if they embrace attacking football’ – well that’s the opinion of Liverpool assistant Pep Lijnders, who obviously works with the player week in, week out.
“It is only my opinion but if you see the game in an attacking way, he gave that position such a creative boost over the last few years. True or not? Like Cafu did in the past,” said Lijnders.
“For me there are no limits and if you see the game in a certain way then, for sure (Alexander-Arnold will shine in Qatar). But you can see the game in many different ways.”
Really good read this from Chris Bascombe, our Liverpool expert, and worth your time.
And Sam Wallace, our chief football writer, has also identified the issues with TAA and England.
“Even the No 7 on his back on Saturday evening contributed to the uncertainty as to what Trent Alexander-Arnold truly is when it comes to this England team. Right-back, wing-back, or midfielder-in-waiting? Or is he just one of those very good English footballers with the misfortune to be the right man in the wrong era?
Germany come to Wembley to play England
the same opponents and the scene, of course, of England’s greatest footballing triumph. I cannot promise you England 4 Germany 2 (Kane hat-trick), but there should be plenty of excitement. Firstly, this is England’s last match before the Qatar World Cup and thus the last chance for those on the fringes of the first team to make a firm case for inclusion, and also for Gareth Southgate to tinker with his formation and approach. Perhaps it’s also important for England to put on a decent show for their fans, many of whom are pretty unhappy with the way Gareth has been running things of late.
As to the Nations League, England are flat bottom of group A3 with just two points from their previous five fixtures. Germany are third on six points with Italy second on eight. Hungary, impressively, have managed 10 points from their five games and if they can get a point against the Azzurri they will make next year’s finals. Not a bad achievement. England, meanwhile, will be relegated from the A groups into the B groups.
So not great times for England right now, and one young man might be thinking that he has backed the right horse. Here is my colleague Mike McGrath with a piece about Jamal Musiala of Germany.
Jamal Musiala still receives text messages joking that he should be wearing the Three Lions of England rather than the shirt of Germany, whom he switched allegiances to after breaking in the first-team at Bayern Munich.
Musiala, 19, played on the pitches at St George’s Park as he came through the ranks at Chelsea but his move to Bayern – and getting spotted by Hansi Flick accidentally – made his decision to play for Die Mannschaft tough but relatively straightforward.
The teenager certainly has no regrets over the decision. He sat in the auditorium at Wembley ahead of facing his former country, insisting it was the famous stadium he dreamed of playing in, rather than the England shirt.
“It was definitely not an easy decision to make,” he said. “It was a decision I thought about for a long time and I think when it all comes together, with me, my family and everyone, it was a decision that I felt very comfortable with. I don’t look back on any regrets or anything. I made my decision and that’s that.
“Some of my friends message me here and there when they see me saying ‘I should have played for England’ and stuff. We joke around there but I think they’re still happy for my decision. I’m sure some England fans won’t be happy but I think that means I’m doing good if it upsets some people that I didn’t choose their country.”
Musiala’s friends from his England days include Jude Bellingham, who also moved to Germany to start his senior career. He is also in touch with Tino Livramento, who he knew from Chelsea and England’s youth teams.
“From my time with England in the youth level, they have amazing talents and I was playing with many of them as well – the Under 21s, 19s,” Musiala said. “There were many players who can have an amazing career and I think England’s youth system is very good for that, to build on these talents and make sure they get better.
“They have a lot of quality. I think we can say that this match is a perfect game for both of us because we both will need this game to go into the World Cup with confidence. Everyone’s a bit shocked with their results right now.”
Musiala has a picture of himself and Gareth Southgate from before he was playing with England. “Yeah, that was at my primary school in Corpus Christi. I saw him there, I had a picture. It’s not on me right now, but we took a picture together,” he said.
He was only brought to Flick’s attention in a training session at Bayern, before the coach eventually took charge of the national team. At the time, Flick thought he was just another of Bayern’s excellent young players but instantly saw he was a player ready for the first team.
“It is a bit of a funny story,” Flick said “My assistant at Bayern said we have a talent in the academy and I said okay then let’s have a look. We saw straight away he was a great talent and never looked back. It has been fantastic development and he has a great feeling on the pitch, that he can solve situations in a positive manager.”