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19th Jun 2018

Irish pundit claims England will “get eaten alive” by good teams at World Cup

He was not impressed by any means


“I thought they were pretty ordinary”

England’s World Cup campaign has begun, and the excitement around the team is beginning to build. Gareth Southgate’s side recorded a 2-1 victory over Tunisia on Monday night in their Group G opener, with Harry Kane getting the goals and winning the game with a header in stoppage time.

England played well for the first 25 minutes but struggled after Tunisia equalised after converting a penalty from the spot. They continued to press however and winner through Harry Kane in the final minutes.

Despite the mostly positive response by pundits in the UK, two pundits in Ireland weren’t as impressed.

On Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE on Tuesday afternoon, pundits Eamon Dunphy and Richard Dunne, formerly of Manchester City and Everton, refused to buy into what they perceived as hype around the England team after Monday’s performance.

“I thought they were pretty ordinary,” Dunphy said on RTE Sport.

“They swarmed, they blitzed, from the get-go and Tunisia couldn’t handle it. They could have scored three or four goals in the first twenty minutes. After that, they didn’t do an awful lot. Harry Kane got the key goals, and he is a world-class player. Lingard had missed a couple of chances and John Stones missed a sitter.

“I think after that they looked pretty average. In second-half, for example, it was nothing special. I thought the new England was a lot like the old England. The first-time they play a good team with that defence, I think they’ll get eaten alive.”

Former Republic of Ireland defender Dunne said something similar about England’s performance.

“They started out brilliant and looked fantastic, but as the game wore on, they took a step backwards. If I was at the world cup, it wouldn’t have worried me from what I seen. They couldn’t keep that tempo up and I think as the tournament goes on, they’ll be found out.”

Next up for England is Panama on Sunday.