England crush North Macedonia while Gray gets Jamaica call-up

19/06/2023 27comments  |  Jump to last

Jordan Pickford was on international duty again this evening as England pummelled North Macedonia 7-0 in Euro 2024 qualifying at Old Trafford.

The Everton keeper played the full 90 minutes as usual as Harry Kane set Gareth Southgate's men on their way to a comprehensive victory with a goal in the 29th minute.

Arsenal star Bakayo Saka scored a memorable hat-trick while Kane added another and there were also goals for Marcus Rashford on his club team's home turf and Kalvin Phillips.

England's win comes in the wake of their 4-0 hammering of Malta last Friday and Pickford hasn't seen any actual competitive action since the Premier League season ended because neither of the Three Lions' opponents managed a single shot on his goal in either qualifer.

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Elsewhere, Alex Iwobi and Nigeria secured their place at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-2 win over Sierra Leone yesterday.

And Demarai Gray has been called up by Jamaica for the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer having switched his national allegiance to the "Reggae Boyz" on account of his maternal grandparents' birth on the Caribbean island nation.

The 26-year-old was called up to an England squad by Southgate five years ago but never got a full cap. That now allows him to join fellow Premier League players Ethan Pinnock of Brentford, Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, Luton Town's Amari'i Bell, Dexter Lembikisa of Wolves, Michail Antonio of West Ham and Fulham's Bobby Reid in Jamaica's latest squad. 

“I think it’s the right time,” he told The Athletic. “International football is something I’ve missed.

“Jamaica has always been on my mind. Coming through as a youngster, I represented England from an early age up to the Under-21s, but not getting a senior cap meant Jamaica was an opportunity for me.

"At the stage I’m at now, wanting a fresh challenge and with my family roots and culture, I think it’s perfect timing.”


Reader Comments (27)

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Rob Halligan
1 Posted 19/06/2023 at 18:50:55
Pickford starts again for England tonight.
Tony Everan
2 Posted 19/06/2023 at 20:55:38
That was a special goal from Saka. One of the best I’ve seen for a while.
Rob Halligan
3 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:22:41
Is there no VAR for this game, because that foul for the penalty was clearly outside the box. Still, makes no difference as it’s 7-0.
Tony Everan
4 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:29:45
Did these really beat Italy in a World Cup play off game last year? How did that happen?
Mike Doyle
5 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:30:39
Rob. Off topic on this thread. Are your spies talking regarding the Kenwright issue or is the silence deafening?
Rob Halligan
6 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:32:05
Not heard a dickie bird, Mike.
Rob Halligan
7 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:40:23
Four goals and about ten substitutions in the second half, as well as one or two injuries, and only two seconds over the 90 minutes before the ref blew for full-time.

Isn't there a new rule whereby the ref can blow on the 90th minute, and not play any added-on time, if the game is done and dusted like this one? Ended 7-0.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:42:14
I agree. That foul started outside the box, so for me a free kick. Not that it made a difference.

They were no Malta and gave it a go, but North Macedonia was another example of the mismatch in these competitions.

Saka is going to be some player. The sad thing is, he already is some player. But at 21, will get better, providing he maintains his progression. Frightening in some ways.

If he doesn't go off the boil and keeps developing, despite their recent resurgence, I can see Arsenal struggling to keep hold of him in a year or two.

Finn Taylor
9 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:43:36
Rob - before the Bournemouth game, you intimated some news that would 'motivate the players tomorrow' and it 'may come out.'

Did you ever reveal what this news was? It sounded like someone was ill?

Rob Halligan
10 Posted 19/06/2023 at 21:55:39

I did say on the Saturday night that a poster, I think it was Brent, was close when he said was it something to do with a players health?

I then explained on the Monday that a member of the backroom staff that I know was suffering with heart problems. This member of staff is a massive blue and is well-liked within the dressing room. That's why I said, if nothing else, it should motivate the players to win the game against Bournemouth.

Finn Taylor
11 Posted 19/06/2023 at 22:07:06
Okay, Rob, thanks.

Tom Bowers
12 Posted 19/06/2023 at 22:41:10
I don't think anyone in their right mind would rate players on their performances against the likes of Malta or North Macedonia.

Personally I only get interested in England games when they are playing against strong opposition and not teams who are on a par with the English lower league.

Paul Kossoff
13 Posted 19/06/2023 at 23:27:14
No interest really but watched 15 minutes with my son then I got fed up with the Alexander-Arnold media love-in and the loooong shots of him for no reason.

What's with him kicking the match off? Failed fullback, now Messi-like masterclass against greats Malta in the last game. That bunch of twats across the park have some media connections.

Philip Bunting
14 Posted 19/06/2023 at 23:57:38
Just back from watching Northern Ireland tonight. Very poor I have to say.

I took an interest in Isacc Price as he started and played the full 90 minutes... totally underwhelmed would be an understatement. He'd barely make a Championship player, that kid: too slight, can't head, can't shoot, first touch very very poor, his second touch is a pass. I could go on...

I know he is young but, if you can't do the basics, it really makes me wonder how these kids get to that level, it really does.

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 20/06/2023 at 00:19:27
England remind me of Spain in the '80s and '90s – they breeze through qualifying then fall when they face a big team In a tournament. That's where they need to improve.
Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 20/06/2023 at 00:21:12

I saw on the OS one of the backroom staff passed away. Was that the man you were referring to?

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 20/06/2023 at 00:25:17

O'Neill has a hell of a job on his hands. Last time the one thing he had in his favour was players with experience but now he lacks that plus quality.

Additionally, Ireland tend to poach the brighter talents to replenish their ranks after England poach their own brighter lights.

Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 20/06/2023 at 04:37:30
Congrats to Demarai the newest of the Reggae Boyz!

We Yanks get to see him this Saturday making his international debut against the USA in the CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage (9:30 EDT on Fox Sports 1).

Rob Halligan
19 Posted 20/06/2023 at 08:12:06
Kieran, thankfully no.
Minik Hansen
20 Posted 20/06/2023 at 12:04:32
Yes, congrats to Gray. If he's staying, then it's good news for us, that'll do good for his confidence and motivation.
Paul Kossoff
21 Posted 20/06/2023 at 14:50:11
Some trannie news, can I say that? 😀

Antonio Sanabria.

The 27-year-old scored 12 goals in Serie A last term, whilst providing four assists in 33 appearances, helping his side achieve a 10th-placed finish.

Torino are seeking £17.1M for his services, with Crystal Palace and Wolves also said to be interested. If the right offer arrives, the Italian club could let him leave, with Sanabria joining from Real Betis two and a half years ago.

Alfredo Morelos.
The 11-cap Colombia international left Rangers last month following a six-year stay at the Scottish club. Morelos netted 11 times last season and is of interest to four other clubs.

The 26-year-old scored 124 goals in 269 appearances for the Light Blues and became a fan favourite during his stint in Glasgow.

Sevilla, Cadiz, Nottingham Forest and Fenerbahçe are all keeping an eye on his situation, whilst the Toffees continue to be linked with several different forwards.

Everton could move for Leeds United winger Jack Harrison.
Following Leeds United's relegation from the Premier League last month, the 26-year-old may be available for sale to help balance the books ahead of a likely revenue drop of over £100m next season.

Although, Jacobs did claim there won't be a big queue to sign Harrison, who scored five league goals last term.

West Ham United may provide competition if any forthcoming offers do come to fruition.

Ed Prytherch
22 Posted 20/06/2023 at 16:41:45
Mike, thanks for the TV tip. I don't normally follow US soccer but that could be a good one to watch.
Dennis Stevens
23 Posted 20/06/2023 at 18:22:59
I see both Branthwaite & Garner are in Lee Carsley's England U21 squad. Hopefully, it'll be a good, injury free experience for them both.
Dale Self
24 Posted 20/06/2023 at 20:28:24
Good for Demarai. Reggae Boyz play some decent football these days. I hope he gets in form and forces Dyche to play him more often.
Mike Gaynes
25 Posted 21/06/2023 at 02:24:03
Ed #22, if you haven't checked them out recently, this USA club is a blast to watch. Fast, fearless and fun, and no sideways passing. Absolutely demolished Mexico and Canada. You'll love the new striker, the kid from Arsenal.

Dale #24, actually, sad to say, this Jamaica team is a disaster at the moment. Haven't won a game in a year (although they did get two shock draws with Mexico). Just lost to Jordan and Qatar in friendlies. Plenty of speed and talent up top but totally disorganized.

George Cumiskey
26 Posted 21/06/2023 at 17:28:49
A mate of mine was passing BMD and said they were taking down the signs with the Everton crest on ?
Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 25/06/2023 at 06:18:12
Warmest congrats to Demarai... assisting on Jamaica's only goal tonight in a 1-1 draw with the US in the Gold Cup. (Dismal performance from the US "B" team.)

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