England take on Malta at Wembley tonight in their penultimate Euro 2024 qualifier. England have already secured qualification for Euro 2024 ahead of tonight’s game. England do though still have something to play for over the next two games; they want to be a top seed and only the top five best performing nations will be top seeds.
During his pre-match press conference, manager Gareth Southgate has expressed his frustration at what he feels is constantly having to respond to criticism of his decisions.
“Well, the reality of that is however well we play tomorrow people will just say it’s a lower ranked opponent, so it’ll be irrelevant. People are going to have opinions. I’m probably tired of trying to fight that.
“In the end, it will be what it is. So, I’ll just let our results and performances speak for themselves. You’re never going to please everybody, so the best way as a football manager is keep winning matches, frankly.”
One man set to start in the midfield for England tonight is Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Liverpool right-back is listed in the England squad as a midfielder and he is keen to play as much for his country no matter what position he is playing.
“When I’m here, when I’m not here, I’m constantly thinking about trying to get into the team for the summer.
“Since we spoke in the summer, me and the manager, about a midfield opportunity and to see if we could make it work, there has been a newfound excitement for me.
“It is a huge opportunity and it is one I am grateful to have, but also making sure I take it. It’s still early days, I haven’t had much experience in there so still learning on the job and about picking it up as much as I can when I am in there.”
After tonight’s match, England travel to North Macedonia on Monday night for their final qualifier.