The average media player ratings from England’s pre-Euro 2020 friendlies
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions won their two pre-tournament friendlies, beating both Austria and Romania 1-0, but which players are in the best form going into the tournament? And who failed to impress?
We’ve taken a look at how four publications – The Guardian, The Telegraph, Sky Sports, The Daily Mail – rated the players and calculated an average score for each over the course of the two matches, putting them in order of worst to best.
Jordan Henderson – 5.25
A missed penalty in his half-hour cameo against Romania ensured low scores all round. Not the return from injury he envisaged.
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 6, 2021
Tyrone Mings – 5.31
One of few players to start both friendlies, Mings didn’t particularly impress in either, scoring as low as four and no higher than 6.5.
“Rash decision-making at times against Austria and endured another poor afternoon back at the Riverside [against Romania],” was Sky Sports’ verdict.
Ben Godfrey – 5.42
His first touch at senior international level nearly ended in calamity, and things didn’t get a great deal better from there. Valuable experience for the Everton defender, but no surprises he was left out of the final squad.
Ollie Watkins – 5.66
Evidently difficult to make an impression in two substitute appearances totalling 40 minutes.
Conor Coady – 5.87
The Wolves centre-half helped keep a clean sheet against Austria before being left out against Romania.
“The defender was slightly cumbersome at times. The sense is that England need Maguire fit,” was Jacob Steinburg’s verdict in The Guardian.
Declan Rice – 5.93
A steady set of sixes for the midfielder, aside from his average getting brought down by Sky Sports’ awarding a five against Austria.
“Left exposed at times as Jude Bellingham bombed up pitch but while tidy in harmless spaces, off cue with longer passing, spraying one ball to the linesman rather than a team-mate,” Sky said.
Kieran Trippier – 6.07
The La Liga champion put in a solid shift against Austria, out of position at left-back, before a brief cameo in the second friendly. Sixes all round, aside from a 6.5 from the Mail.
Kalvin Phillips – 6.12
Leeds United’s fan favourite put a few hearts in mouths by appearing to injure his shoulder in a clattering challenge in the final minute of their final match of their season. But on his return he looked his usual self, eased back in gently with 45 minutes against Romania.
“Brilliant passes in first half to play in Sancho ending with shots on goal and his general passing was first-class,” wrote the Telegraph’s Ian Whittell. “Composed and disciplined in filling in and covering his centre-halves also.”
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 6.14
Deputised for the rested Harry Kane at No.9 against Romania following an eye-catching cameo against Austria. Almost exclusively sixes for both displays.
Jesse Lingard – 6.21
Sixes, a 6.5 and one seven for the lively attacking midfielder. He can feel a little unlucky not to have made it into the final 26.
Harry Kane – 6.25
The captain and talisman didn’t score but received respectable scores for his display against Austria before Southgate elected to keep his powder dry for the second friendly.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6.37
A decent performance against Austria by all accounts, before he suffered the injury that’s ruled him out of the tournament. Rotten luck for the Liverpool star, but if England could afford to lose a player in any position it was at right-back.
Ben White – 6.41
There’s a lot of logic in including Brighton’s rising star, given he’s comfortable in a back three, back four and at the base of midfield. Strong scores after making a goal-line clearance on his debut off the bench against Austria, with another clean sheet on his first start, against Romania.
“Looked assured on his first start, making timely interceptions. Expect him to become a fixture in the squad,” was Jacob Steinburg’s prescient judgement, with a seven for his display against Romania.
A match-winning clearance on his debut 🙌
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 7, 2021
Luke Shaw – 6.5
Two sixes and two sevens for the Manchester United left-back for his performance against Romania. Dependable as ever.
Jordan Pickford – 6.62
Few doubts now that the Everton goalkeeper will retain the No.1 shirt after a clean sheet and a solid showing against Austria.
James Ward-Prowse – 6.71
The set-piece specialist came off the bench for 30 minutes against Austria before notching just over an hour against Romania. Most write-ups focused on the Southampton’s midfielder’s chances of replacing Alexander-Arnold in the final squad.
“On this showing, why wasn’t the Southampton man in the squad in the first place?” asked Sky Sports after the 1-0 win over Romania. “Tidy on the ball, tireless off it, resistant to the Romania press and series of wicked deliveries.”
Jadon Sancho – 6.75
After missing out against Austria due to illness, the highly-prized Borussia Dortmund attacker took his chance to impress against Romania.
“Showed why he is in contention for a start against Croatia with some great runs, amazing technical skill and a sublime curling shot that struck the bar,” was the verdict in the Telegraph, with an eight.
Jude Bellingham – 6.81
Unanimous solid sevens for his start against Austria, with his average brought down a little by a shorter substitute appearance against Romania.
“A couple of moments of indiscipline early on but gradually grew into the game. At total ease at this level,” wrote Sami Mokbel in the Mail.
The Birmingham City academy graduate’s rapid rise could potentially see him start for England in a major tournament, which is quite something given his 18th birthday isn’t until the knockout stages.
Marcus Rashford – 6.87
His score was inflated by his decisively struck match-winning penalty against Romania, with scores ranging from six to 7.5.
Sam Johnstone – 7.25
A clean sheet and a wondersave against Romania have done Johnstone’s case no harm. You can’t imagine he’s usurped Pickford at this point, but every chance he’s inched ahead of Dean Henderson as back-up.
“The 28-year-old made an astonishing save to stop a late equaliser. A debut to remember. He exuded confidence,” wrote Steinburg in the Guardian, giving him an eight.
This Sam Johnstone save can be filed under: “How’s he done that?!”
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) June 6, 2021
Bukayo Saka – 7.37
A first England goal, the match-winner against Austria, ensured very respectable scores for the versatile Arsenal starlet, who was left out as a precaution in the second match.
Jack Grealish – 7.62
The only player to receive a 9, for his energetic display against Romania, in the Telegraph: “Given rough treatment, particularly by Chiriches, and showed his frustration. But his discipline was admirable and his footwork and skill a joy to watch. England’s most creative player.”
He started both matches and received no lower than a seven for either. A very strong case to be in the starting XI against Croatia.