Gareth Southgate pleased to see England players enjoying football again


Gareth Southgate's side impressed in their 1-0 victory in Amsterdam on Friday night, with United starlet Jesse Lingard firing the Three Lions to victory.

While the Toffees' shot-stopper will sit out of Tuesday's friendly against Italy, with Stoke's Jack Butland likely to start, Pickford's ability on the ball makes him favorite to be England's number 1 keeper at the World Cup. He's comfortable in speaking up for the group.

"For me, I have always felt it's all in my own hands".

Rashford's pace was a problem throughout and running onto a through ball, he was clearly tumbled in the box by Netherlands centre-back Matthijs de Ligt.

"Yes (it was a good night for Pickford) definitely", Southgate said of the Everton goalkeeper.

"And actually as well as his pace being a tremendous asset to the defence, if you watch City play it's kind of where he ends up now anyway".

Not only did Manchester City's Walker adjust well to his unaccustomed role, although it needs to be kept in perspective because the Dutch opposition was so lame, it also opened up new possibilities for the make-up of Southgate's squad.

Most of the action was at the other end, England retaining possession neatly only for much of their play to lack a final ball of outcome, although captain Jordan Henderson headed wide, while Raheem Sterling was thwarted by advancing goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet.

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He's not wrong. Henderson was the focal point of England's midfield against the Dutch, bringing composure and balance to the centre of the park as they played a simple but effective passing-style.

Explaining the reasoning behind the positional switch, he said: "He has the attributes to play the position really well".

England faced early disruption when Liverpool's Joe Gomez went off injured just minutes into the game, his place taken by Harry Maguire.

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Off the pitch, Dutch police made 90 arrests prior to the game following disturbances involving England supporters.

"I heard some of the booing of the anthem, which obviously isn't acceptable", Southgate said. "I was really pleased with the quality of our football", Southgate told reporters.

"So, anything else that takes away from that performance for them would be a great shame".