England looks like a shy team, so they need Jack Grealish against the Czech Republic.
The guy is brave. The guy never played a European match for his club but he arrives in the national team and is fearless.
He risks. He gambles. He loses the ball. He creates. He kicks people. People kick him. He creates instability in opponents.
And he wins free-kicks.
You win free-kicks in wide areas then you go with Harry Maguire or Tyrone Mings or John Stones and Harry Kane — and England are powerful on set-pieces.
England looked a shy team against Scotland because they were a team without that thing that Grealish has.
I don’t like comparing players — and Luis Figo was at a different level — but Grealish is like Figo in that he’ll demand the ball.
He says, ‘Give me the ball and I will resolve this!’
Grealish didn’t play amazingly when he came on against Scotland but how many times did he have the ball? How many fouls did they commit on him? How many one-against-ones did he create? England need these qualities.
If you start with Grealish and you have a striker like Harry Kane, you also want a runner to attack spaces — so you need either Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford.
Sometimes with City, Sterling is so wide he is talking to the linesman. Then suddenly the space is there and ‘boom’ the run is made.
I think Gareth Southgate will make changes and England will win and top the group. I think they will keep three clean sheets.
So Scotland was a bad game but, for me, no drama.
In the last 20 or 25 minutes against Scotland, England didn’t really try to break the game and win it. Scotland were controlling them.
I think it would have been different if they’d really needed the victory to qualify. So maybe there was a bit of pragmatism.
England did not show enough throughout the game and that was because of the players, not Gareth.
The fact he played Luke Shaw and Reece James was not a sign of ‘we want to be careful’. It was the opposite.
Kieran Trippier is a better defensive option than Shaw. Kyle Walker is a better defender than James.
So if the gameplan was to keep control and be cautious, they would play Walker and Trippier.
The best qualities of James and Shaw are going forward. Normally, they are fast and aggressive.
That is why I used the word ‘shy’. England did the basics, they were disciplined but no more than that.
I understand why he played Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in midfield because they controlled the game so well against Croatia.
But you can change a winning team, as long as you explain why.
So I would play Jude Bellingham tonight. He is a player who can score, create, arrive in the box, a player with physicality and power.