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England need Jordan Henderson's leadership qualities against Germany, says Ince


Jordan Henderson has to make his first start of the tournament when England face Germany on Tuesday.

That’s the view of former Three Lions midfielder Paul Ince, who is convinced Gareth Southgate’s boys have struggled without the leadership qualities the Liverpool captain brings.

Southgate went with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in the holding midfield roles for England’s Group D games against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic.

And it wasn’t until half-time against the Czechs that vice-captain Henderson made his first appearance of the tournament, as a replacement for Rice.

But now in the knockout phase there is no room for error and Ince is convinced that means bringing a man who has captained his club team to European Cup and Premier League glory back into the starting XI.



Henderson has only made one appearance at the Euros, as a half-time substitute against Czech Republic
Henderson has only made one appearance at the Euros, as a half-time substitute against Czech Republic

Ince, who won 53 caps for England, seven of them as captain, said: “It’s great to see Jordan Henderson back.

“In that midfield you always need leadership, someone with a voice and a bit of character.

“England have always lacked that leadership, but we’ve seen what Henderson has achieved at Liverpool.

“He gets people around him playing, and if people aren’t playing well, he’s on them — he makes the team tick.

“I’d like to see Henderson come back into the starting team for the Germany fixture.

“It will be an important decision for Gareth Southgate, but Henderson simply makes England better.”

The fact the England boss has used two holding midfielders in all three games has drawn criticism from some quarters and Ince wants to see at least one of those selected to be given more license to push forward.

He added: “Southgate needs to get the right balance in midfield, too.

“England have always played it safe with our midfield selections.

“We’ve always had two holding midfielders in there, with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips allowing Mason Mount to get forward.

“It’s all right having two sitting there, but one of them must get forward and get in the box as an extra attacker for the opposing team to worry about.”

England are yet to concede a goal but they have only managed to score twice, with Raheem Sterling on target against Croatia and Czech Republic.

Should Southgate start Henderson against Germany? Let us know your XI in the comments below.

Ince said: “England have been defensively sound and they haven’t conceded a goal, which is vital in tournament football.

“The Scotland game put a lot of negative thoughts into people’s heads because we didn’t play well.

“Against Czech Republic, England went out and attacked. Whereas, against Scotland and Croatia, they were defensive and passive, whilst looking to counter-attack.

“We’ve been crying out to play faster as we’ve been pedestrian at times.

“Against the Czechs, we looked like we could create and score goals at will.

“If we can play like that and pick up the tempo, we’ll be all right.

“We’ve seen the Germans and Italians play, and England can’t fear them as we haven’t truly clicked into gear yet.

“Hopefully things will come together for the Germany game.

“This is the time where you need to show your form and everyone must be on it.

“On any given day, if we perform there’s no reason why England can’t go and win it.”

Paul Ince is a EURO 2020 ambassador for Paddy Power, who are encouraging punters to change bookmaker as part of their ‘Switch for Better’ campaign. Switching to Paddy will secure a free £5 Bet Builder for England v Germany. For more details, visit www.paddypower.com





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