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Dirk Kuyt Pinpoints One Change Southgate Needs To Make Ahead Of Netherlands Clash

Dirk Kuyt Pinpoints One Change Southgate Needs To Make Ahead Of Netherlands Clash
Joshua Bell Curran
By Joshua Bell Curran Updated
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Either by chance or by sheer determination Gareth Southgate's England have found themselves in the European Championship semi-finals against The Netherlands tomorrow night.

While England have skimped and scraped through the last two rounds, former Dutch and Liverpool star Dirk Kuyt has pinpointed one change Gareth Southgate can make to give them a chance in the semi-final.

Despite entering the competition amidst much excitement about their quality, England have generally failed to light the championship up so far, with their struggles against frankly lesser opposition wearing on fans.


Having been down 1-0 for all but twenty-five minutes of their last sixteen clash with Slovakia, an injury-time equaliser followed by an extra-time winner proved just enough for England to progress to the quarter-finals against Switzerland. A game where they played out a drab 120 minutes of football before finally winning on penalties.

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Dirk Kuyt calls for Liverpool star to start for England

However, one man was missing - Trent Alexander Arnold. The Liverpool star was an unused sub in England's win over Slovakia, and despite a change in formation for Switzerland that seemed tailormade for Arnold, Southgate controversially opted to roll on without him - only to bring him on in the depths of extra-time and appoint him to take England's fifth and winning penalty.

Speaking ahead of this week's semi-final, former Liverpool and Dutch star Dirk Kuyt exclusively told Ladbrokes 1-2-Free that Trent Alexander Arnold must start for the Dutch clash.

From my point of view, Trent Alexander-Arnold is at his best when he has the ball at his feet. His short-passing, his long-passing, his crosses, they're amazing. People always want to put players in a position, or in a certain zone, but Trent can play as a wing-back, he can play in the midfield... I've seen so much of him, and all I can say is that, with the ball at his feet, he's an amazing player.

I'd always be putting Alexander-Arnold in that England team; and from the perspective of a coach, I think about having the ball; when you have the ball, you have less to defend. And, when it comes to quality on the ball, we're talking, here, about someone who almost never loses it. His decision-making is always spot on, and he's just so, so impactful from his set-piece deliveries... I think he can be a crucial player for England.

These kind of games are won by very small details, and if you go back and watch Liverpool when they won everything they won under Jurgen Klopp, you will see Trent was always involved in those big moments.

While Kuyt is confident in his native country's ability and hasn't been amazed by England so far, he was certain the game was far from a foregone conclusion - pinpointing The Netherlands' weaknesses and England's squad.


If you watch the Dutch team, you'll see they've got so much experience in those forward areas, and in defence, but in the midfield there's a lot of inexperience. Their talent is unquestionable, but not many of those players have the experience of playing at such an important tournament. The consistency in midfield drops at times.

There are just so many quality players throughout that England team; people talk about Jude Bellingham, and he's brilliant, but they have so many more players in there, as well. But, from what I've seen so far, in attack in particular, they're not showing what they can do. They still have so much more to offer.

England have not amazed me yet, especially on the ball. They have much more to offer, I think. Like I said, defensively, they're in a really good shape, and the fact that they just have so many attacking players who are more than capable of going and creating something from nothing, means you can't write them off in this tournament, despite how they've played up to this point.

England take on the Netherlands in the 2024 European Championship semi-final this Wednesday evening when Gareth Southgate's side will either come of age or be found out.

SEE ALSO: Majority Of Punters Now Backing England To Win Euro 2024

Jude Bellingham Trent Alexander Arnold England


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