‘I can’t believe!’ – Ian Wright questions what Kalvin Phillips did for England vs Poland


Kalvin Phillips made his 17th cap for England and rounded off another successful international break with a 1-1 draw in Poland on Wednesday night.

The Leeds United midfielder was involved in their 4-0 success against Hungary, before starting the game at the Stadion Narodowy as the Three Lions maintained their grip at the top of Group I.

Despite receiving a yellow card in the seventh minute, Phillips stayed calm and produced an astute performance in the midfield alongside Declan Rice.

There was a moment which the 25-year-old could arguably have done better with when he was presented with an opportunity to play through Harry Kane.

Phillips, however, decided to pass the ball out wide to Raheem Sterling, rather than slide in Kane, who appeared to be free in space with just the goalkeeper to beat. The Manchester City winger was eventually crowded out and Poland regained possession inside their own half.

This was probably England’s best opportunity to create a clear-cut opportunity in the opening 45 minutes and Wright believes that Phillips could’ve done better.

Speaking to ITV Sport, he said: “This for me, he has to see this. He’s played safe here. He has to play Harry Kane here. I can’t believe he’s not played Harry Kane through.”



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Apart from that moment, the Leeds man was solid once again and didn’t look out of place in Gareth Southgate’s side.

There has been previous criticism about England’s ability to create with Phillips and Rice in a midfield pairing, but they proved at Euro 2020 that they can fulfil that role to a successful standard.

The Three Lions boss also seems to trust the pair, having started them together in nine of their last 10 competitive matches, including the final against Italy in July. It’s their defensive stability which has caught the eye and they give the back-four protection which has seen England keep nine clean sheets in 2021.

Poland’s 91st-minute equaliser will unlikely change Southgate’s mind heading into the October internationals and Phillips remains a key part of their squad. Before that, the Leeds man will be hoping to help his club side to their first Premier League win of the season when they host Liverpool on Sunday.





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