Three assists, eight chances created – Shaw improving every game, says Southgate

By Sports Desk July 04, 2021

Gareth Southgate hailed the performances of Luke Shaw after the England left-back continued his superb individual campaign at Euro 2020.

Shaw, who came into the tournament on the back of an impressive season with Manchester United, teed up two of England's goals in the 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine in Rome on Saturday, creating three goalscoring chances in total. 

It marked his second and third assists of Euro 2020, after the left-back – who turns 26 on July 12 – also provided the cross from which Raheem Sterling tucked home the opener against Germany in the last 16.

Having missed England's opening game, the former Southampton defender has made each one of Southgate's starting XIs since.

From his four appearances at Euro 2020, Shaw has created eight chances – more than any other England player, with five of those coming from open play. On average, he has created 2.15 opportunities, and 1.07 'big chances', per 90 minutes.

Mason Mount (four) is his nearest rival within England's squad in terms of chance creation, while no Three Lions player has attempted as many passes (including crosses) into the box as Shaw's tally of 21.

Of defenders taking part in Euro 2020, only Jordi Alba (11), David Alaba (10) and Andrew Robertson (nine) have created more opportunities so far.

 

He has also proved his worth defensively as part of a back line which has yet to concede across the opening five games (a European Championship record), winning three of the five tackles he has attempted and making four clearances.

"His [Shaw's] performances have improved every game," Southgate told reporters.

"He wasn't with us for a long time until March, which was his first game in a few years. You usually play those games trying not to make mistakes rather than flourishing.

"He feels comfortable in the environment now and is comfortable in how we want to play. His delivery was great.

"We've talked a lot in the week about set-piece goals and we put more emphasis on it. It looked like we would be dangerous in training yesterday and usually that transfers into the game and that's what happened."

Asked of his role in England's attack, Shaw told ITV Sport: "There’s no secret. Defensively and in attack I'll help the team however I can, I did that with two assists, but there's no time to lose concentration, we've got another massive game.

"Four days, we've got to enjoy the special night and be ready for a massive game against Denmark."

Related items

  • Billings added to England squad for rescheduled Test with India, Crawley retained Billings added to England squad for rescheduled Test with India, Crawley retained

    Sam Billings has been added to England's squad for the rescheduled Test against India at Edgbaston, while Zak Crawley has retained his place despite struggling for form.

    Kent captain Billings was drafted in as a COVID substitute for Ben Foakes on the fourth day of England's third Test against New Zealand, which concluded on Monday.

    Billings' main contribution in the seven-wicket triumph was a bizarre caught-behind off Neil Wagner that he wedged between his knees.

    He is now in line for a third Test appearance, though Foakes may yet feature as he is due out of isolation on Thursday, a day out from the India Test beginning in Birmingham.

    The addition of Billings is the only change made by England, who have kept faith in Crawley at the top of the order, despite some unconvincing showings against New Zealand.

    Crawley finished the three-match series with 87 runs and was at fault for the comical run-out of opening partner Alex Lees in his side's second innings of the final Test.

    India lead England 2-1 ahead of the final Test, which originally scheduled to be played last September but was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

    The tourists announced on Monday that Mayank Agarwal has been called up after captain Rohit Sharma tested positive for coronavirus.

  • Wimbledon: 'Now we're at 80, let's get to 100' – Djokovic makes history with latest victory Wimbledon: 'Now we're at 80, let's get to 100' – Djokovic makes history with latest victory

    Novak Djokovic became the first male player in the Open Era to win at least 80 matches in all four grand slams with victory over Kwon Soon-woo in the first round of Wimbledon.

    The world number three, who is seeking a seventh crown at SW19 to take him level with Pete Sampras and behind only Roger Federer (8), advanced 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 on Monday.

    That was Djokovic's 80th win at the All England Club in what was his 90th match, adding to his 85 wins at the French Open, 82 at the Australian Open and 81 at the US Open.

    He has won 22 matches in a row at Wimbledon since retiring in his quarter-final with Tomas Berdych in the 2017 quarter-finals, and is 17-0 in first-round matches in the event.

    With 328 grand slam wins to his name, Djokovic is second only to Federer (369) in that regard, with fellow heavyweight Rafael Nadal – in action on Tuesday – boasting 305 wins.

    "I am as dedicated as anyone out there," Djokovic, playing his first match on grass this year, said in his interview on Centre Court. "Now that we're at 80, let's get to 100.

    "I'm not one of the youngsters any more, but the love for this sport still burns in me and I try to play my best tennis at the grand slams and deliver my best at the best courts. 

    "I've said this before but this court is truly special. For me it has always been the court I dreamed of playing and winning and all my childhood dreams came true here.

    "It's an honour and pleasure to be back on Centre Court. This sport has given me everything. I owe a lot to the sport and I love it still with all my heart."

     

  • Williamson still has 'appetite' for New Zealand captaincy after series whitewash to England Williamson still has 'appetite' for New Zealand captaincy after series whitewash to England

    New Zealand captain Kane Williamson insists he still has the "appetite" to lead the Black Caps amid questions over his tenure following a 3-0 Test series whitewash against England.

    Former Black Caps bowler Simon Doull, who played 32 Tests for his country before moving into commentary, suggested he would like to see Williamson relinquish the captaincy to focus on his batting.

    That was prior to the third Test at Headingley, where England eased to their 296 target and became the first team to chase down 250 or more three times in a single series.

    Williamson scored 31 in the first innings in Leeds and 48 in the second, but has passed 50 just once in his last 10 Test innings since crafting 238 against Pakistan in January 2021 at Christchurch.

    Tom Latham, who stepped up when Williamson was absent at Trent Bridge, has been mooted as the next New Zealand skipper, but the Black Caps captain insists he is committed to the task at hand.

    "We opted for the balance of the side to go with three seamers," Williamson said.

    "We were curious to whether it would turn, but it's just one of those things. We made the decision not to play the spinner, but it wasn't the easiest to bat on at any time.

    "It would have been nice for the top four to contribute a bit more, and that's an area we want to be contributing more from.

    "I certainly love playing for this group and being their leader. It has been an interesting time and challenging, but the appetite is still there from me."

    Michael Bracewell was selected ahead of Ajaz Patel and went for 163 in just 22.3 overs across the two innings, picking up two wickets.

    While Williamson defended the decision on his spinners, he pointed to the aggressive approach of a new-look England side under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum as the difference in the series.

    "It's been an incredible series. In all three matches we had our opportunities and we were ahead of the game at times in each one but credit to England, they chose to counter-attack when they were under pressure and they did it well, especially in this match," he added.

    "It is frustrating to lose the series but there were a lot of positives. There is clearly a new theme to England's approach and they did it extremely well.

    "It was a highly competitive series, but they won those fine margins and those moments that changed the outcome of the matches."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.