Gareth Southgate tried two different midfield combinations against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria and based on the results in those games, there is no question which one worked better.
Among the main changes that the England manager made to the team that took to the field against Bulgaria on Monday night was to bring in Harry Winks in for Declan Rice.
The Spurs midfielder was one of England’s best players on the night as he sat in front of the back four and helped to control the tempo of the match.
West Ham midfielder Rice is certainly under no illusions as to the battle he faces to start for England in the holding midfield role at the Euros next summer, should the Three Lions qualify as expected.
Apart from Winks, Rice named Wink’s Spurs team-mate Eric Dier and Everton’s Fabian Delph as his main competitors for the role.
Speaking to West Ham’s official website, Rice said: “I don’t feel like a regular yet. I’ve started five of the six games I’ve played in, but the main thing is that we’ve got good competition in the squad and other players who can play in my position in Harry Winks, Fabian Delph and Eric Dier.
“Everyone is going to be looking to the summer and will want to be starting as one of those eleven players so I need to keep my head down and keep working.”
Spurs Web Opinion
While Winks and Rice are both fantastic talents and play in the same role, there are stylistically a little different as players. I feel Winks is much more suited to the big games as his ball retention and defensive ability are both better than his West Ham counterpart. I expect the Spurs man to establish himself as a regular for England before the summer.
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