England U21s beat Poland 3-0 at the Euros

Thursday, 22 June, 2017 41comments  |  Jump to most recent

Jordan Pickford and Mason Holgate played a key part of England's progression to the semi-finals of the U21 European Championships by beating hosts Poland 3-0.

England topped Group A with 7 points after holding off Poland at the Kielce City Stadion. Pickford played a solid game for the most part in goal, while Holgate did better at right-back, playing out the whole game.


Reader Comments (41)

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Mark McParlan
1 Posted 22/06/2017 at 18:36:48
Holgate certainly needs to improve on his performance from last time out.
Brian Cleveland
2 Posted 22/06/2017 at 18:56:29
Mark, let's not forget that he is meant to be a central defender and crossing has never been in his vocabulary before, so he is being asked to do a job that he is not best gifted at.

Defensively he has been fine; it's just crossing once he gets forward that has been bloody awful! We've already seen that for ourselves...

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 22/06/2017 at 18:57:39
I thought Holgate was sub tonight?
Liam Reilly
4 Posted 22/06/2017 at 19:02:08
Brian, we're not asking for Total Football but, for fuck's sake, the boy is a professional footballer and should be able to cross the ball.

Right backs need to be able to deliver that service these days, so maybe this lad needs to be back up to the central defenders and let Kenny step up as back-up to Coleman. I suspect Koeman will plug the right-back gap with a signing.

Mark McParlan
5 Posted 22/06/2017 at 19:07:38
Brian (#2) – you are right, he is getting played out of position at full back, and it's unfair on him that this has happened both with Everton and England. Still though, he was pretty abysmal going forward (considering he was #1 right-back at Everton for a number of months). And let's not forget the fella scoring for Slovakia did appear to be his man at the corner.

Ah, didn't really mean for this to turn into an attack on Holgate. Sorry.

Either way, it still looks like we're going to need a right-back, and fast... the Lord alone knows when Coleman will be back, Holgate won't cut it as a full back, and Kenny has not been tested properly in a competitive environment.

Brian Cleveland
6 Posted 22/06/2017 at 19:09:24
Liam, I have said on more than one occasion that I think Kenny is a better bet in that position than Holgate, so no argument there. This is another case of square peg, round hole... and yes, I agree, even I can cross better than him, but I prefer to remember that he is supposedly a central defender and he does that bit well.

Last game, the kid who came on for him was good going forward and provided the service Holgate couldn't, but was soon found out defensively and was targeted the last part of the game and was hopelessly out of position/outplayed in the defensive part, so neither one nor the other was perfect.

Looi Walters
7 Posted 22/06/2017 at 19:54:08
In case anyone is looking, this game is live on youtube:


Gray has just given England the lead.

Tom Bowers
8 Posted 22/06/2017 at 19:58:26
England 1-0 after a great pass from Everton's Jordan Pickford to Chilwell who fed Gray to score.

Commentators Tyler and Smith failed to acknowledge the pass by Pickford!!!!

Nigel Munford
9 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:11:20
Tom, [sarcasm tag=""] he's only Everton's £30 million record goalkeeper, why would these commentators mention him? [/sarcasm]
Nigel Munford
10 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:11:57
They soon mention him when he drops a cross!!!!
Nigel Munford
11 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:12:41
And how much he cost, and who he now plays for.
Sam Hoare
12 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:24:05
I know he's playing out of position (sort of) but been a bit disappointed in Mason in this tournament. Not quite enough fire in his belly for my liking.
Graham Mockford
13 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:45:16
From the admittedly small amount of time I've seen either player, I'm definitely more impressed with Mawson than Keane.
Graham Mockford
14 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:51:31
And on another note, Pickford's distribution is superb!
Brent Stephens
15 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:51:57
Was thinking that myself, Graham. Strong lad. Decisive.
Mick Quirke
16 Posted 22/06/2017 at 20:58:45
England U21s winning but their football is shit. Thought the same against Slovakia. Incapable of keeping the ball. Holgate's not a full-back.

Where do they get these England Junior team coaches from?! Southgate included.

Graham Mockford
17 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:02:11
Mick #16

Like the coach that just won the U20 World Cup?

Nigel Munford
18 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:09:14
Some commentators compliment Pickford:

Paul Simpson, England Under-20 manager in Poland for 5 live; Posted at 19:52

What a great finish. Great ball out from Pickford as well. He played it out to Chilwell, unbelievable first touch and after that it was all about Gray. That caps off a good start and now we have to stay on the front foot.

Frank Wade
19 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:14:06
Oh dear, our new expensive goalkeeper almost gave a goal away by kicking the ball to a Polish player standing at edge of box. Shades of Spurs Away but England survive.

Murphy has now scored a second so it's 2-0 England.

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:15:45
I've only seen the 2nd half but Holgate has done well imo. Pickford looks good as well.
Dermot Byrne
21 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:34:30
Sell Pickford...NOW!
Jay Tee
22 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:40:56
I enjoyed watching that game far more than watching the so-called seniors.
Mike Allen
23 Posted 22/06/2017 at 21:47:20
Alfie Mawson looks a very good prospect watched him in all the games stand out player for me
Ian Bennett
24 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:19:44
Pickford was good bar the clearance straight to their striker. Concentration is just as important as shot stopping – much to learn post Sunderland it might get initially messy.

Holgate was solid but suffers at right back. He just isn't an attacking right back and the Sky commentators are quick to put the knife in. He's a good centre back, and I hope he gets game time in that position – he looks a class act to me.

Mick Quirke
25 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:31:34
Cahill coming in for Australia v Cameroon!
Simon Smith
26 Posted 22/06/2017 at 22:48:22
Radio 5 live commentators were massively applauding Pickford's distribution for the first goal.

There are pundits that acknowledge Everton out there.

Steve Mink
27 Posted 22/06/2017 at 23:27:27
Yer lad Mawson looks a player.
Max Murphy
28 Posted 22/06/2017 at 23:33:51
Quick change of subject. Just watched England U-21 against Poland. Pickford was shocking. In the space of 2 minutes in the second half, he flapped at a high ball and was lucky it bounced off a Polish forward straight back into his hands.

This was quickly followed by a terrible clearance – under no pressure, he passed the ball straight to a Polish player who was outside of the box. Again, the Pole fluffed it. I think we've been sold a dummy.

John Pierce
29 Posted 23/06/2017 at 02:17:36
Holgate's best game of the tournament but many of the team could say that.

Mason was very solid, couple of nice smooth takeaways. Crossing still woeful, playing him ahead of Kenny would questionable.

All for seeing him at centre-back in the Europa League.

Alasdair Mackay
30 Posted 23/06/2017 at 08:42:34
Mawson came through at Barnsley – just like Holgate and Stones.

Perhaps the best signing would be the youth team centre-back's coach from there!

Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 23/06/2017 at 11:58:23
Sam (#12), I like Holgate, but as a centre-back and I think you got it right with "not enough fire in his belly". He's got to be a lot more aggressive... too nice. Hhould take a look at Jonjoe, who should start the season at right full-back, he will save Everton a lot of money.
Jay Wood
32 Posted 23/06/2017 at 12:29:26
Dave @ 30.

Dunno about your call on Holgate, Dave.

First, very few of us have really seen him play at centre-back. He has primarily been used by Koeman with the first team at right-back, and only fleetingly as one of a back three playing a wide right centre-back, rather than down the middle.

I can understand why – like many other managers – Koeman is doing this. Holgate will, in all likelihood, end up as a centre-back, but he still shows a tendency to switch off a tad defensively and players get a run on him or time their jump better than him. Best not to expose him too early to the centre-back position until he improves this aspect of his game.

I don't agree at all with your call that he lacks aggression and is too nice. He has shown plenty of edge to his game and is not fazed by reputation.

I recall one game – maybe against Man City and their 'super-stars'? – Davies was taken out and Holgate (and Davies himself) were right in the face of the opposition player. It was really good to see because Everton has had too many 'nice' players down the years, so I liked to see the young 'uns standing their ground.

I'm confident he can make a career for himself at the highest level.

And of course, you and I are both smitten by Jonjoe Kenny and have high hopes that he can come in and do a job in Coleman's absence.

Tom Bowers
33 Posted 23/06/2017 at 12:58:54
Holgate is a player to be kept. He has a lot of talent is quick and plays a lot of intelligent passes. Most fans will instantly compare him against Seamus which would be unfair.

Don't forget, Seamus wasn't a barnburner in his early days at Goodison and was sent out on loan.

If he fills out more, he could be a central defender but, with the game changing regarding defensive line-ups, he could still do an effective job for Everton.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 23/06/2017 at 13:22:34
Jay (#31), you could be right, that more time at full back could help Holgate in the future, but he doesn't look convincing there.

I have seen him quite a few times at centre-back in the U23 teams and he is a lot more comfortable bringing the ball out of defence there than either Jagielka or Williams who patently don't want the ball to bring it out of defence; they are good stoppers but not footballers.

The way the absurd transfer market is today, Kenny and Holgate could both go upwards of £5M each.

Peter Gorman
35 Posted 23/06/2017 at 13:49:16
Jay, speaking of young bucks who don't mind getting in the face of the opposition, I give you Brendan Galloway.
Jay Wood
36 Posted 23/06/2017 at 13:50:52
Dave @ 36.

I also like what you mention about Holgate. He looks very tidy and composed on the ball, even in tight situations in the Premier League.

He seems to have a better 'balance' to his game when to show that composure and when to simply welly it away than, say, John Stones (who remains a great talent in my eyes) who overplayed the 'ole' moments in defence.

Hopefully, both Holgate and Kenny (and others) continue to develop and we can add a digit or two either side of that £5m number you quote!

Jay Wood
37 Posted 23/06/2017 at 13:56:13
Peter @ 38.

Agree with you about Galloway, too. Another not given to backing down. However, his development seemingly stalled even in Roberto's last season with us and last season was rather a wasted one for him with the loan to WBA simply not working out.

Got some ground to catch up has the lad.

To add to the spicy, spiky young bucks currently at Everton, I think you can add Kenny and Liam Walsh to that number as well. Battlers, not bottlers, the pair of 'em.

Along with others, I've been saying for ages we needs more 'narks' in the side who hate losing.

Peter Gorman
38 Posted 23/06/2017 at 21:37:38
Posts on this thread are dropping like flies, I started to think what it could be about and I seem to remember something about Connor McAleny.

Eds, any reason why he is being airbrushed from history like Leon Trotsky?

I know it was off topic but considering some of the meanderings on other threads, hardly out of the question. Just curious if the policy is as arbitrary as it seems.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
39 Posted 23/06/2017 at 23:50:36
No airbrushing, Peter. Quite the opposite. A thread all to himself, for young Conor: click the link!

Threads do wander and flap about a bit, but sometimes off-topic posts will be on another valid topic; as in this case, we create a new thread and move them over, albeit after the fact. Not the perfect solution, but that's how we do it.

Peter Gorman
40 Posted 24/06/2017 at 00:50:38
Makes perfect sense, Michael, thanks for the response.
Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 24/06/2017 at 00:58:51
Dave (#31) and Sam (#12), sorry but I'm with Jay on this one. Holgate has plenty of fire. Haven't seen him hesitant or diffident at any point defensively... gets right up on attackers and never gives up until he wins the ball. Physical without fouling and stays focused.

Looking forward to seeing him at centre-back rather than right-back.

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