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Parker believes Palmer should start ahead of Saka against the Swiss

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Bonuscodebets had the pleasure of sitting down with former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker to preview England’s Quarter Finals clash with Switzerland this coming weekend. Parker dived into his thoughts on Cole Palmer, Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and the threat that Switzerland will pose in a very forthright conversations.

In this article:

  • Palmer should be starting over Saka
  • Southgate must make changes Switzerland
  • Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham must step up despite goals
  • Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham must step up despite their goals

Palmer should be starting over Saka

Cole Palmer had a tremendous breakout season at Chelsea. A return of 22 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League alone. A call up to the England squad for this year’s Euros Championship was the bare minimum expected for Palmer who’s bravery, skill, flair and coolness led to many expecting Palmer to play a key role in England’s pursuit of glory. Yet, Palmer has played a bit part role in the tournament so far. After making a difference in the 0-0 draw with Slovenia, Palmer’s stock has since risen and Parker who is a huge fan of the Chelsea man believes having dragged his team in what was a difficult season for Chelsea, Palmer should now be given a chance to shine for England.

“Palmer has had a great season. People talk about Foden but you have to look at what Cole Palmer did. He’s done more than Foden because he was carrying a team. That was the difference. Foden was playing in a well-oiled machine. And fitting in that, fitting in that system brilliantly and doing a great job.

“But Cole Palmer dragged the team along by himself and he’s done everything. He was instrumental in everything. People say he scored a few penalties, but he still scored, still scored some incredible individual goals from nothing when Chelsea were on their knees and he dragged them out. Everyone witnessed that.

If Southgate were to start Palmer the question remains who drops out of the line up. A misfiring attacking line up that starts the likes of Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham who have both scored twice as well as Phil Foden who has a memorable year for Manchester City.

“The problem again we’ve got is that you leave out Saka and all the sudden all the Arsenal fans will get upset and Gareth Southgate will be getting a neck because he left out one of their players.

“That’s the problem that we’ve got here in England is It becomes a club country kind of thing, that you leave someone out and you put somebody from another club. Those two start having a go at each other because of social media.”

Southgate must make changes against Switzerland

It could be argued that Southgate could have made changes to his England team after the 1-0 win over Serbia or the Denmark 1-1 stalemate. Connor Gallagher came in for Trent-Alexander in midfield but that proved to be short lived with Kobbie Mainoo taking his place at half time and more challenges than the Gallgagher one could have been made. Mainoo then came in for Gallagher against Slovakia and performed well but yet again, more changes could have been made. Parker is adamant that the same mistakes cannot be made again.

“Cole Palmer would be thinking, I should be playing in the next game against Switzerland in the quarter final after what I’ve done to prove a point. He doesn’t want a pat on the back saying he’s done well. He wants a pat on the back saying you’ve done well and you’re playing.

“Gareth Southgate is in a predicament. He only made the one change before Slovakia, which I thought he’s going to have to make. I think now if he’s going to make another change. He’s going to have to decide between Anthony Gordon or Cole Palmer.

“He can’t just go out and start the game with the same people on the pitch as the last one, because it just didn’t work. It just didn’t work. But I said that after the first game and he kept the same team against Denmark and he got it completely wrong. Other teams are doing it. They’re Making changes when they see that things aren’t working.”

Switzerland will pose England a different kind of problem

Next up for England is a Granit Xhaka inspired Switzerland who have performed admirably during the tournament so far and will pose England more problems than the likes of Serbia, Denmark, Slovenia and Slovakia. Parker believes England must retain possession of the ball better if they are to have any chance against Switzerland.

“At the moment we haven’t got it right. We’ve got to really make a complete U-turn on performance to get anything from the game. That kind of performance we saw against Slovakia doesn’t work against Switzerland because they keep the ball better and they’ve got someone like Xhaka who orchestrates everything.

“They won’t be sitting back and hoping like Slovakia. Slovakia were hoping to get a result against a poor England team.

“Switzerland can keep the ball and they will keep the ball. They’ve got Vargas on the right hand side who will be up against a new left sided centre half. Maybe Luke Shaw could maybe come in. I’ve seen him training. Luke Shaw’s not going to like being up against Vargas because he’s going to force him to work hard. So, he’s going to be tested on his fitness and his agility and his discipline in terms of how he wants to defend after not being fit.”

Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham must step up despite their goals

Despite scoring two goals apiece which includes Jude Bellingham’s stunning 95th minute overhead kick equaliser against Slovakia, both players have looked subdued during the tournament so far and England will need their stars to step up now that we’ve entered the back end of the tournament.

“When you look at it, Bellingham hasn’t turned up since the first 30 minutes against Serbia. He popped up against Slovakia to score a great goal. Harry Kane has popped up twice. That’s all he’s done. So people say they’re having a great tournament but when you look at them as footballers they can’t be happy with what they’ve actually given to the team.

“If football was just about goals, we wouldn’t have any defenders anymore because everyone’s going to want to score a goal. So to help the team out, they need to offer more as individuals. To make a difference, I should say, in that game against Switzerland.”

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