MOT View: Jamie O'Hara gets it wrong about Kalvin Phillips
TalkSPORT pundit Jamie O’Hara’s assessment of Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips horribly wrong.
Speaking about the England team on talkSPORT’s Sports Bar, O’Hara got into a discussion with a Leeds fan and questioned whether Philipps merited a spot in Gareth Southgate’s side.
He said, “Let’s be honest – [Jesse] Lingard should be in front of Kalvin Phillips.
“I think you’ve got to take people that’ll make a difference. In my opinion, what does Kalvin Phillips do that Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson can’t do?”
What’s he on about?
O’Hara clearly doesn’t get the distinction between Lingard’s and Philipp’s positions despite watching both of them play this season.
The Leeds United midfielder sits in a deep-lying position dictating the tempo of a game while Lingard often finds himself in the final third looking to score goals and create chances.
Phillips was also called up earlier by Southgate and despite not playing against top-ranked nations, our Yorkshire Pirlo stood out leaps and bounds and was rightly praised by the England manager.
Thus, his selection did not surprise us or fans who have been watching him play for club and country. He was also recently called ‘magnificent‘ by Jim White.
O’Hara probably tends to judge his players by the number of goals they score or how much the media is talking about them.
It’s baffling how he can say that Henderson, a player who’s barely featured this season, deserves to go while Phillips who’s been consistent every game and who’s shown up in the big games against the best players, should not represent the Three Lions at the Euros.
According to StatsBomb data, only seven midfielders in the Premier League attempted more long passes than Phillips this term. Of those, only Wolves’ Ruben Neves and Manchester City’s Rodri had a higher pass completion rate.
In national tournaments, teams often rely on that one player to dictate the tempo, and Phillips can be that man for England. Playing in a double pivot with Rice, the Leeds midfielder could help keep things ticking and play the eye-of-the-needle pass that could split open opposition defences.
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