Jose Mourinho has slammed England for being afraid and said the hosts were just “set up not to lose” in their 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley.
Gareth Southgate played the same team that beat Croatia 1-0, except with new full-backs in Reece James and Luke Shaw. However Mourinho said the team had no desire to win – and claimed that keeping midfielder Kalvin Phillips on showed England were happy with a point.
“I didn’t see any risk or desire from England to gamble and try and win,” Mourinho told talkSPORT .
“If England needed to beat Scotland then I think Phillips would have been subbed around the 60th minute for more creativity. But a fear of losing kept him on the pitch.
“The pragmatism of the result and qualification [from the group] showed itself clearly from minute 70 to 75; that it was more important than the emotion of the game or the desire to win against a historical rival.”
Mourinho also said England’s full-backs weren’t as aggressive as you’d usually expect.
“I didn’t see any crosses from them, I didn’t see any progression, I didn’t see any overlapping… I think they should give a little bit more.
“If England needed to win this match, Phillips would be out on minute 60.
“The fear of losing it kept them on.”
Mourinho, is one of the game’s great pragmatists. So rather than burying Southgate’s side for a lack of ambition, the ex-Chelsea manager could just simply be explaining that England may not have viewed a draw as a disastrous result as four points from two games could be enough to qualify (and with England playing the Czech Republic next).