Big day for England's 'lost souls'
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Big day for England's 'lost souls'

The Euro 24 quarter-finals are already under way and unbelievably England are somehow still in the mix. Their performances have been so uninspiring they are going into tonight's match against Switzerland as underdogs. This is a team England would be normally be expected to beat comfortably.

England's great escape against Slovakia, ranked 40 places lower than them, prompted a bemused reaction from newspapers, pundits and podcasters alike. The entire nation couldn't believe their good fortune. Having been dire for most of the match England were rescued by Jude Bellingham's brilliant last-gasp equaliser.

Bellingham's heroics took care of the headlines with the most popular being "Saved by the Bell!" which appeared in the Sun, Daily Express and several other newspapers. A variation on this was "Yea Jude" in the Metro. The Daily Mail described the game as a "Jekyll and Hyde match with a Lazarus-like comeback".

Leading pundits were not shy about expressing their thoughts. Former England star Alan Shearer called the team's performance "desperate''. He admitted that before Bellingham's strike "there had been no signs that we were going to find an equaliser from anywhere."

Shearer admitted that even after taking the lead in extra time through Harry Kane it was uncomfortable viewing. "It was another hard watch up to the final whistle," he said.

Gary Lineker was equally unimpressed saying the England team looked like "lost souls". He added "I don't think they really know what they are supposed to be doing."

Former England defender Gary Neville commented "we should thank our lucky stars because we have been woeful now for four games."

Even manager Gareth Southgate had to concede that things weren't great. "We want to be better, there's no hiding from that," he said.

Just about everyone has had their say. There is a consensus that without a proper left back the team has looked unbalanced. It raises the question of why they selected the injured Luke Shaw in the first place, unfortunately his replacement, Kieran Trippier has looked very uncomfortable in the left back position.

Manchester City star Phil Foden has also been disappointing when you consider he was the PFA's Player of the Year. He has looked a bit lost. That's what makes the fans so frustrated. They know the team is full of talented players but they are not showing it.

Foden defended the manager, stating he "felt sorry" for him. "The players must take some of the blame," he admitted.

On the bright side Manchester United youngster Kobbie Mainoo has been impressive while Chelsea's Cole Palmer has livened things up when he has come on as a sub.

Apart from a couple of enforced changes, at the time of writing it is unclear what Southgate will do. Many fear he will continue to be cautious. There definitely needs to be more aggression up front as Ivan Toney displayed when he came on far too late against Slovakia.

In the other game tonight Turkey will take on the Netherlands. Just like the other quarter-finals the match-ups are too close to call, and that's just the way it should be. And you never know, England could be awful again and still win.

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