Regular Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has heaped praise on Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips after he won his sixth cap for England.
Phillips started again for England on Sunday, alongside Declan Rice, as England beat Albania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier.
Phillips came off after 71 minutes and was criticised again by some England fans who don’t seem to understand his role for the side.
Writing in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Prutton said, “Phillips seems to spark a bit of debate amongst fans with England but there is always that sense of tribalism.
“Phillips has managed to work his way into the England team through what he has done with Leeds, which has been phenomenal really, and he plays in a position which very much helps a team play in a certain way.
“But the position that he plays in wouldn’t necessarily mean that he would absolutely beam out because it’s an economical and efficient position on the pitch that needs to be done with the minimum of fuss.
“If he slots into that position in the England midfield and allows players that we know can cause real problems going forward, then that feels like his job is done.”
Leeds United fans understand the Phillips role perfectly – he’s an absolutely vital player for us.
Other fans seem to think that he doesn’t add anything positive to this England side.
However, as stats site LUFCDATA pointed, out, when Phillips went off yesterday, Albania enjoyed their best, most attacking period.
The Attack Momentum graph from SofaScore highlighted this perfectly – Albania are in green in the graph below.
They didn’t register in the game until the final 20 minutes when they threatened to get on the scoresheet and ruin England’s perfect World Cup record.
Very interesting Attack Momentum visuals from @SofaScoreINT. After Kalvin Phillips goes off, Albania enjoy their most successful spell of the match. #LUFC https://t.co/UJbQUWSfNC pic.twitter.com/C2i123EHiK
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) March 28, 2021
We think Southgate will take Phillips to the Euros and that’s a huge achievement for the player. He’s unlikely to be a starter but we do think he’ll get some action.
And we’ll be cheering him on with immense pride.
In other Leeds United news: Phil Hay delivers significant Leeds-Alioski contract update