Sport

Luke Shaw handed timely boost by Gareth Southgate against Germany

England's World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday will be preceded by a minute's silence and an on-field tribute to victims of the Westminster terror attack, while armed patrols will be in operation around Wembley Stadium.

The head of the English Football Association has condemned the "inappropriate, disrespectful and disappointing" behaviour of England fans at Wednesday night's friendly in Germany yet refused to issue a direct apology.

"We might be quite young, but I don't think we can play the age card forever".

The 29-year-old was then dumped out of the first-team picture at Manchester City when Pep Guardiola placed Willy Caballero ahead of him in the pecking order and signed Claudio Bravo from Barcelona.

Nevertheless, their squad, and especially the clubs where they take most of their players, is superb in executing the counter-attacking strategy. "I just think that's what individual managers have decided", he said.

Southgate understands his qualities more than Roy Hodgson and along with Dele Alli, Lallana is England's most influential figure now.

And Southgate confirmed at a press conference on Saturday that Manchester City goalkeeper Hart, now on loan with Torino, would have the armband for the Wembley contest.

The defeat to Iceland at the Euros was a devastating low for the nation and, prior to the 1-0 loss to Germany, he said England need to make big changes if they are ever to challenge at the top level.

"I think our responsibility is to set an example in what we do and say and you hope others will follow that", he said.

The England manager's move away from the notion of a permanent captain also raised questions over Rooney's future, fuelled for some by the United man's non-attendance at Monday's meeting at St George's Park where Southgate outlined his vision.

When asked if a Londoner should be a captain he replied: "I'm not sure". What they displayed was more of a mixture of domination and counter-pressing, and not a perfection of either of them.

"He's a player we've worked with in the Under-21s so we know him well, we know his personality and character", he added.

"Whenever you're in an England squad you'll probably think about it. He has shown great maturity in the way he has recovered from his own disappointment last summer", England boss Southgate told reporters on Saturday.

"We've got a good conveyor belt and some really good options", said Hart.

Football is generally a free-flowing game, one which is less reliant on structure and forward planning in comparison to rugby.



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