Keane atones for early error in goalfest against Kosovo

Tuesday, 10 September, 2019 38comments  |  Jump to last

Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford had an eventful evening down on the south coast as England prevailed 5-3 over Kosovo at St Mary's Stadium.

It was Keane's slip that led to the visitors taking a shock first-minute lead with the first of three goals that Pickford would have to pick out of his net but Gareth Southgate's men ultimately proved too strong.

The Everton centre-half was dealt a difficult pass from Ross Barkley that he simply delivered straight to Florent Muslija who played Berisha in to fire past Jordan Pickford with just 35 seconds on the clock.

Keane made amends just seven minutes later, however, winning the header from an England corner that set Raheem Sterling up to level the match.

Harry Kane then turned the match on its head by converting Sterling's ball to make it 2-1 and the home side extended their advantage when Mergim Vojvoda turned Jadon Sancho's cross past his own ‘keeper.

Sancho bagged his first senior goals for his country before the break, netting two more assists by Sterling in as many minutes just before half-time to give England a 5-1 lead at the interval.

Kosovo threatened to make a game of it when Berisha struck early in the second half and then pulled another back when Vedat Muriqi was brought down by Harry Maguire in the box and he scored from the penalty spot.

Elsewhere, Cenk Tosun hit two goals for Turkey in their 4-0 drubbing of Moldova, Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the first of Iceland's two goals in a 4-2 defeat in Albania and Lucas Digne played the full 90 minutes of France'e 3-0 victory over Andorra.

Alex Iwobi registered an assist as Nigeria drew 2-2 in a friendly with Ukraine and Moise Kean scored a penalty for Italy U21s as they beat Luxembourg 5-0..  

Reader Comments (38)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 10/09/2019 at 19:33:41
In other internationals, I see Seamus has been dropped from the Eire Team, so I won't be watching that one.

However Lucas Digne is playing for France, so that get's the vote for me.

James Hughes
2 Posted 10/09/2019 at 21:30:53
England's latest game. Keane gifts a goal in the first minute to Kosovo and has looked a bit suspect all night.

Barclay has been dross all night, great at passing backwards, very poor going forwards. A real shame that he's never progressed.

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 10/09/2019 at 21:43:06
England are fast and direct on the counter attack, but Kosovo, have players who are so much more comfortable on the ball.

Credit to Kosovo, for their passing and movement, and for all England's improvement under Southgate, they need to find midfielders who are comfortable in possession, because they never look like, they really enjoy having the ball?

Jamie Crowley
4 Posted 10/09/2019 at 22:09:35
Criticizing the England team is funny to me.

Try being American at this point in time. While we wait for our youngsters to come good, we're getting battered by the arch-enemy, and are about to get our butts handed to us tonight against Uruguay.

I'd kill for the "problems" England have presently. They'll give anyone a game on their day. Anyone.

We'd be lucky to beat freaking Small Caribbean Nation XYZ!

Tom Bowers
5 Posted 10/09/2019 at 22:12:13
This should have been a cricket score. So many English attackers who just play the wrong ball or don't release when necessary.

Trent Alexander-Arnold caught out of position a few times and fell asleep when Kosovo got their second leaving RS teammate Henderson getting turned inside out.

Kosovo did well but are very poor defensively.

Referee was also very poor.

Hugh Jenkins
6 Posted 10/09/2019 at 22:16:11
Not sure if it's been mentioned earlier but Cenk got two for Turkey tonight and Turkey seem to be doing quite well in the qualifiers.

He can obviously score in a system that is "right" for him – it just seems that we don't play that type of system.

Brian Williams
7 Posted 10/09/2019 at 22:16:17
England "generally" play the most sterile, uninspiring, mind-numbingly boring football you can see. That side-to-side, one pass forward and two back does my effing head in. The play slows to a halt in the final third while the opposition organize themselves and England usually struggle.

Compare this with the game Kosovo tried to play which was moving the ball quickly and quick forward passing between the lines. Yes, England won... but fuck me, it's hard to watch and even harder to enjoy.

Jay Harris
8 Posted 11/09/2019 at 00:21:14
You can't make it up. Steve Nichol, who is a pundit on ESPN, says the 3rd goal for Kosovo was Michael Keane's fault not Henderson because Keane should have been there instead of Henderson.

When do these blinkered biased red noses ever give up?

Keane gets all the flack while Harry 㿼M Maguire gets off with a stupid miskick and a bad challenge to give a penalty away.

I know Keane did not have a good game but to single him out was despicable.

Andrew Keatley
9 Posted 11/09/2019 at 01:18:45
Not sure what Southgate learned from the game against Kosovo. What I learned is that Declan Rice - after all the fanfare - is not currently ready to play in the defensive midfielder position. He has been over-promoted and should be in the Under 21s, but he was fast-tracked to get him to commit to England over the Republic of Ireland. The manner in which he conceded possession that lead to the second Kosovo goal was laughably bad - a combination of poor concentration, terrible execution and shocking unawareness.

In terms of the sitting midfielder, I think Choudhury at Leicester is better than Rice, and Longstaff at Newcastle might be a better long-term option too - and they are probably still a decent way off being called up. Sadly it is a position we lack obvious candidates in - although with a fair wind maybe Delph will be back in the mix if he continues his form and fitness.

Keane - other than his glaring mistake prompted by a thoughtless pass from Barkley - did just about all right. Frustratingly he'll almost certainly carry more of the can for the team's defensive fragility than the more fashionable (and at least equally culpable) Maguire and Alexander-Arnold. For me though, Rice is definitely the one who needs replacing.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 11/09/2019 at 05:02:03
One of Cenk's goals tonight was absolutely brilliant -- he lobbed over the keeper to himself and volleyed it in. Made #5 on ESPN's Top Ten tonight.
Steve Ferns
11 Posted 11/09/2019 at 09:45:01
Just seen it, Mike. He lets it come across him and bounce, then lifts it around and over the keeper (terrible keeping by the way) and then volleys it into the net. Great touch and awareness.

No one doubts Cenk's ability in those situations, the problem is that he does not get these situations in the Premier League. Defences are not that open, he does not have that space, and he lacks the pace to get in behind. If he was a quick player, then he'd be fantastic. Sadly, the Premier League is just not for him.

Liam Reilly
12 Posted 11/09/2019 at 10:32:15
Keane didn't cover himself in glory – even if it was a hospital pass from Barkley – sometimes there's a need to just put the laces through it.

There will no doubt be a fall guy for this and it won't be the 80M Golden Boy who was at fault for 2 of the goals.

Re-Barkley – how he's occupying the # 10 role is purely based on his involvement in a Chelsea shirt – which will be removed as soon as they can reinforce in the Middle. He is not creative enough to warrant that shirt for England.

Steve Ferns
13 Posted 11/09/2019 at 10:38:06
Yeah, I agree Liam.

If you look at the current squad and think who can grow into players who can win the league, then I'm afraid Keane is one who I would have serious doubts about. Whenever he plays international football he seems a lot more unassured. I would hope it's a confidence thing and that with more experience he can gain more confidence and grow.

He's a very solid player for a top 10 Premier League side, but there's doubts over whether he is good enough for a top 4 side.

Adam Carey
14 Posted 11/09/2019 at 10:56:05
Not wanting to sound like sour grapes for the Liverpool players, I like Alexander-Arnold, but his crossing was poor last night. In fairness, so was Chillwell's. Our only decent crosses came from Sancho and Sterling. Henderson did nothing all evening. Woeful crossing and the 'Scholes' volley which almost hit the linesman!

As for Keane, he did his main job well, winning defensive headers and tackles. Not as comfortable as Maguire bringing the ball out though, but that's why he cost 㿼M and Keane I'd probably valued at 㿙M.

Barkley hasn't improved since moving to Chelsea. That one run second half reminded me of his golden time in the early Martinez days, bustling through with pace and power, but then there was no end product. VAR wouldn't have given a pen.

Still, credit to Kosovo. Their coach said they would have a go and they did just that. I would love to have seen his half time talk. Shades of Mike Bassett if his reactions at in the first half were anything to go by.

David Donnellan
15 Posted 11/09/2019 at 11:08:01
As long as Keane gets his mistakes out the way whilst playing for Ingerlund, that's fine by me.

I am only concerned about how he plays for Everton.

Martin Berry
16 Posted 11/09/2019 at 11:20:18
Let's get the mistakes out of the way now and Keane was not the only one for the goals.

On a different tack, have you seen Cenk's first for Turkey last night? A gem, imagine if an England player had scored that one.

I've always rated his finishing and I still believe he will be a cracker for us if given the right service.

Colin Malone
17 Posted 11/09/2019 at 12:54:25
A blind man could see Rice and Henderson are the problem.
Christy Ring
18 Posted 11/09/2019 at 14:10:59
Keane made a bad mistake for the first goal, but Barkley's pass didn't do him any favours, I'm bemused by all the flak he's getting. The £80m Maguire, made a ridiculous tackle, giving away a penalty, which they scored, and Henderson was at fault for the 3rd goal, but it's only Keane who's slated?
Stan Schofield
19 Posted 11/09/2019 at 15:30:45
I wouldn't worry too much about Keane being slated in the media. It's just a diversion from England's chronic problem, over at least 3 decades, of being mediocre, particularly by choosing too many cart-horse type players who cannot really compete at the international level.

Watching England has for a long time been like watching Everton. In the case of Everton, I've not been able to avoid the self-inflicted misery, because it's in my blood so to speak. But in the case of England, my rational mind takes over and stops me wasting time watching mediocrity.

I was with two mates walking in North Yorkshire at the weekend. One of them said he wanted to watch the England game, in a pub where the selection of beer wasn't great. There was another pub, with a better atmosphere and beer selection, but where the match wasn't on. Two of us preferred to go there. The mate who wanted to see the England game was outvoted. That pretty much reflects how crap England are to watch.

Jay Wood

20 Posted 11/09/2019 at 15:44:30
Keane's dreadful blunder was so bad and in the opening minute of the game that it sticks in the mind. No blame for the pass back from Barkley. It was a dreadful, dreadful play by Keane.

But then so was Declan Rice's awful pass under no pressure whatsoever in midfield which launched the attack for their second goal, and Henderson's pathetic attempt to cut out the cross.

As was slabhead's poor attempt at a clearance, followed by a totally unnecessary foul to concede a penalty.

And then you have the manager who watches his team – 5-1 up at half-time – pulled back to 5-3 and being outplayed, doing nothing to change things until the last 10 minutes of the game.

The commentators and pundits kept saying what a great game it was. It wasn't. Kosovo's Kamikaze football in the first half was exposed time and time again. England thought they were on easy street in the second half and were so exceedingly boring and ineffective it was embarrassing.

All praise to Kosovo, but there was a lot wrong about that performance last night.

Bill Gall
22 Posted 11/09/2019 at 15:46:31
Steve Nichol blaming Keane for the 3rd goal saying he should have been in the position that Henderson was in. Did Keane not have to move to cover Maguire who had moved toward the left side of the pitch and where was the right-back who should have been covering behind Henderson.

Blame is easy sitting in a studio, but to be a believable respected pundit you have to leave your personal prejudices behind (ie, Sky Sports ) to become respected.

Tom Bowers
23 Posted 11/09/2019 at 15:50:09
All players make errors but in the case of a last line defender or goalkeeper it usually is costly. As long as they are kept to an absolute minimum then I am not too concerned and if they are for England against teams like Kosovo I'm even less concerned.

I just want to see Keane and Pickford be great for Everton.

Jay Wood

24 Posted 11/09/2019 at 16:03:02
In other news, Richarlison put in yet another sterling display for Brazil in the wee hours of this morning.

Played in LA on the West Coast of the USA, the local KO time made that 4am Wednesday morning in the UK and even midnight for me in Brazil, but I loyally stayed up until 2am in the morning to watch it.

Brazil's opponents were Peru, who they beat twice in the summer Copa America - 5-0 in the group stage, 3-1 in the final. On Friday, Peru lost 1-0 to Ecuador and Brazil drew 2-2 with Colombia.

This morning, Peru won 1-0 with a goal five minutes from time to record only their 4th victory over Brazil in 40+ games.

My biggest concern is with Richarlison. He played nearly the full 90 against Colombia and 75 minutes last night. He gives absolutely everything on the pitch and I honestly doubt any other Brazilian matched the kms he covered in the two games.

It was also an extremely physical game – Peru were well up for it – and Richarlison was on the receiving end of some really, REALLY heavy challenges, but kept coming back for more.

Given that since the Wolves game Richarlison has flown first to Miami (at the time Hurricane Dorian was threatening), played against Colombia, travelled on to LA, played a very physical game against Peru on full throttle, and now flies back to England before travelling to Bournemouth on the weekend, it honestly wouldn't surprise me if he started from the bench rather the starting XI on Sunday.

I know players are heavily monitored now and I hope they are thorough on running tests on him on his return to Finch Farm, because he both expended a helluva lot of energy over the two games AND took a heavy battering, particularly last night.

His performance made a marked contrast to Firmino's who I remembered was actually on the pitch only when he was substituted on the hour mark.

Let's just say he could fold his shirt in its wrapper, send it back to Nike and they would refund him as it was unsoiled and unused.

Maybe Richarlison could learn something from Firmino: don't go busting a gut in a meaningless International friendly, rather, save something for your club at the weekend.

Clive Rogers
25 Posted 11/09/2019 at 16:25:49
Jay, I share your worries. Richarlison has played an enormous number of games in the last few seasons. He played through the summer before he joined Watford, then started getting picked for Brazil internationals. Burn-out is a worry.
Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 11/09/2019 at 18:43:15
Steve #11, I wasn't commenting on Cenk Tosun's Premier League suitability, just the quality of that goal -- but since you did, I'd say it depends on your perspective.

He'll never be a Premier League star, or even a starter, but I'm pleased he's still with us. Several months ago, during one of the transfer window debates, I predicted that if he wasn't sold off, he'd win us a couple of games this season with his heady (pun intended) play. And he already did once, with the intelligent assist on Iwobi's game-winner at Lincoln. Most players would have headed that ball towards goal, and into the keeper's hands. Cenk was wiser.

I won't be a bit surprised if he departs in January, but I think he'll gift us with a couple more goals at key moments before he does.

Tony Hill
27 Posted 11/09/2019 at 20:26:09
I am glad Richarlison is sweating for the cause. He has massive talent but he needs to acquire hardness of mind and body. He is young enough for his exertions not to damage him.

As for Tosun, I think he could yet be a serious asset. Pending Kean's emergence, he is the best natural finisher we have. That may not be saying much but he is a clever player and he is no slower than, say, Giroud. We should see what can be done with him this season.

His attitude and commitment to the club, amid much derision, have always been exemplary. We owe him some support in return.

Andy Crooks
28 Posted 11/09/2019 at 20:58:04
I like Keane and games like this will make him better. I hope that Silva will look at the game with him and help him to learn because I thought he was really awful. In my view any striker with pace will skin him because he is unaware of his weaknesses and has not learned to make the adjustments that come with experience.
Andy Crooks
29 Posted 11/09/2019 at 21:00:22
Mike, spot on about Cenk Tosun. He needs a run of games but unfortunately they all can't have that chance.
Tony Hill
30 Posted 11/09/2019 at 21:12:15
I hope Mike is not spot on and that Tosun does not leave in January. That would leave us short, unless we have someone else lined up which seems improbable.
Joe McMahon
31 Posted 11/09/2019 at 21:51:07
Andy @ 29, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has had plenty of chances, far more than the others. Tosun and Niasse can be just as useful.
Liam Reilly
32 Posted 11/09/2019 at 22:09:38
Anyone watching the Kompany testimonial; Tim Cahill with a touch of quality, backheal setting up Van Persie for his goal. Class is permanent.

Scholes still running the show; what a player he was.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 11/09/2019 at 22:23:16
Not sure where to put this but a report on Nigeria vs Ukraine with special mention of Iwobi.

I said when we bought him that I hoped/believed he could play more centrally either as a 10 or even a more box to box 8. This is where he played for Nigeria and excelled doing so. He's a really versatile and rounded player; think we'll come to relish him in time.

Hugh Jenkins
34 Posted 11/09/2019 at 22:31:14
Re Cenk:-

This is what I wrote on another site:-

"I see Cenk got two for Turkey tonight and that Turkey seem to be doing quite well in the qualifiers.

He can clearly score when the system is right for him.

We, obviously, just don't play that system.

Pace of the game didn't seem too slow - but it was route 1 football.

Was amazed at Cenk's first time touch control for the flip over the goalkeeper off a dropping ball – might have been a lucky fluke... but looked good to me."

Jamie Sweet
35 Posted 11/09/2019 at 23:15:46
Players like Cenk and Giroud bang goals in for fun at International level and on the continent, but are deemed too slow for the Premier League and so don't see much game time.

Giroud actually has an incredible minutes per goal ratio in the Premier League, yet he has never been trusted to play week in week out at either Arsenal or Chelsea.

I wonder if given a proper run out in a decent creative team that Tosun could actually start banging them in. Harry Kane is hardly Speedy-Gonzales, but what he is, is an incredible finisher with good creative players in support.

Not many centre back pairings in the Premier League are particularly blessed with pace, so I'm just wondering if it is a bit of a myth that you need to be lightning quick to be a success in the centre forward role at this level.

Some of the quick forwards, their feet are too fast for their brains anyway!

Justin Doone
36 Posted 12/09/2019 at 07:33:05
No one likes losing but if Everton do lose I hope we lose as well as Kosovo.

5-1 down but carry on playing good attacking football. Their touch, awareness and general play was very good and they just kept at it, no heads down, pointing the blame and falling out with each other.

They were not good enough on the night. Silly mistakes cost them. They know that but they kept the right attitude for 90+ mins.

Other than the 1st-minute error, Keane played well, his usual self. Always has a mistake in him but a good player.

He needed to avoid the risk and clear the ball. He paid the price for not taking command. That's the problem, his manager will say he tried to do the right thing. No, just defend and clear the danger in them situations.

As for Barkley, I thought along with Sterling he had a good game. Yes, he shouldn't pass back so much but he's the only other player that would turn and get past players. His general passing and threat was always good. He even ran 25 yards back and made a good sliding tackle. Now that's a first.

Derek Knox
37 Posted 12/09/2019 at 13:06:08
Mike, @ 26, I take and agree with your point on Cenk Tosun, I think we all know he has the ability, but is lacking that speed factor. I know I have said before and others too, that if you could have a 'Frankenstein' combination of Calvert-Lewin and Tosun, that would be some player.

Don't know if the referees would allow that 'bolt through the neck thing though'!

Maybe, just maybe, those goals of his, have not gone un-noticed, and may just accelerate a move in the January window, and net us a decent fee towards our next piece of the jig-saw.

Robert Williams
38 Posted 13/09/2019 at 20:18:58
Off Topic,

Can anyone tell me how Danny Mills has emerged as the go-to authority on all things Everton? He seems to believe he has the inside track on most things concerning our club. He is now doling out advice to Tom Davies as to where he should ply his trade.

I seem to think he may have an offspring at the Academy, never heard of him! Does that even qualify Mills Senior to pontificate about our club, or is he now Everton's appointed oracle/ mouthpiece, job sharing with Jim White?

Brian Williams
39 Posted 13/09/2019 at 21:20:19
Robert #38.

I was thinking the very same thing myself. Just because his son is at the academy, he seems to think it gives him carte blanche to mouth off at every opportunity.

He needs to shut the fuck up, especially when he's encouraging the likes of Tom to leave the club.

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