Stuart Pearce has given his verdict on Kalvin Phillip’s first England appearance after the Leeds midfielder made his debut in England’s 0-0 draw with Denmark.
England put in an uninspiring performance in Denmark, with the Three Lions perhaps lucky to walk away with a point.
Speaking on the Breakfast show (talkSPORT, Wed, 7.30am), Matt Dickinson from The Times said he was sympathetic toward Phillips, and said that playing him out of position wasn’t ‘pretty’.
“I felt a bit sorry for him,” Dickinson said. “He’s played in the single-pivot for Leeds and he was thrown into this midfield with Declan Rice. When you saw that line-up you thought it wouldn’t be pretty and that’s what happened.”
Stuart Pearce then delivered his verdict saying, “Phillips done very little wrong. While he didn’t stand out he did a job and he grew into the game. I think he done okay, he did what he had to do, he didn’t let himself down at all.”
Pearce also thinks the game will have done no harm to Phillips’ future England chances.
On the debutants generally, Pearce said, “They done nothing wrong. They’ll play themselves back into another squad.”
Phillip’s stats from the game show that he actually put in a decent personal performance. He won the most tackles out of any of the players on the pitch, won six duels and managed an 81% passing accuracy. [@LUFCDATA]
Kalvin Phillips’ England debut vs. Denmark:
81% pass accuracy
76 mins played
48/59 successful passes
10 final third passes
6 duels won
5 successful long passes
3 tackles won (most on pitch) 🌟
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) September 8, 2020
The Leeds midfielder was also the highest-rated player as voted for by England fans on the BBC site.
On their player ratings, Phillips scored an average rating of 5.48, which wouldn’t normally be noteworthy, but goes to show how Phillips stood out in a team of full internationals.
That was the highest score given to any England player.
Playing Phillips in a different position was never going to give him a chance to play his best football.
However, his stats show he still played well and, in the eyes of some England fans, he was the bright spark in the team.
He should take heart from that and look to Anfield as he prepares to make his Premier League debut on Saturday.
What a week it is for Phillips.