How do you stop Mbappe? England wrestle with World Cup conundrum | Football News

DOHA: England coach Gareth south gate is grappling with the biggest dilemma of his reign as he tries to find a way to stop the ‘sensational’ Kylian Mbappe in the quarterfinals of the World Cup on Saturday.
Southgate’s hopes of leading England to a third straight semi-final at major tournaments hinges on finding a solution to a problem that has proven impossible for any team in Qatar to solve.

How do you subdue a player with Mbappe’s lethal combination of electric pace, ballet talent and clinical finishing?
Australia, Denmark and Poland did not find an appropriate answer because Mbappe scored in all three of his starts en route to the quarter-finals.
Defender of Poland Matty Cash summed up the conundrum posed by Mbappe after the Paris Saint-Germain striker’s two brilliant goals in France’s 3-1 round of 16 win on Sunday.
“I didn’t know if I should drop or go tight,” Cash said. “When I went tight, he just spun behind. When he gets the ball, stops and moves, it’s the fastest thing I’ve ever seen.
“He’s on a different level. Speed, movement, look at his finishing. He’s got everything.”

Four years after playing a key role in France’s World Cup triumph in Russia, Mbappe is the tournament’s most feared player.
The 23-year-old has already scored five goals in four games in Qatar, while his nine career World Cup goals put him level with Argentina’s Lionel Messi and one ahead of Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now it’s Southgate’s turn to take the dreaded Mbappe exam.
“Look, he’s a world-class player who always produces the moments when they’re needed. That’s what these top players do. That’s the challenge we face,” Southgate said.
So what will Southgate do to combat the threat of Mbappe?
One answer would be to change England’s 4-3-3 formation to a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 system, which would allow Kyle Walker to move from right-back to complete the central defense .

Southgate’s concern is to avoid a situation in which the pacy Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele can run to defender Harry Maguire and exploit his lack of speed.
Moving Walker would provide help for Maguire, but it would also leave Southgate open to further claims that he is a negative coach more concerned with stifling opposition than letting his own stars speak out.
Southgate was heavily criticized after returning to a 3-4-3 formation in the Euro 2020 final against Italy which produced a lukewarm performance that ended in a penalty shootout defeat.
Instead of changing his formation, Southgate could take inspiration from Walker’s role in Manchester City’s Champions League semi-final first leg win over Mbappe’s PSG last year.
City boss Pep Guardiola asked Walker to muzzle Mbappe from right-back and he responded with a disciplined display which prevented the star from scoring.
“I can’t think of another right-back in the world that I would want to face,” said former England defender Gary. Neville says of Walker’s chances of overpowering Mbappe.
“Kyle will come closer to him, he has more pace than the Polish defenders. That doesn’t mean Kyle will take him out of the game. He’s a sensational player, the new best player in the world.”
As well as Walker winning his one-on-one duels with Mbappe, Neville thinks it’s essential to reduce his serve by Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann.
“If they can stop the serve to Giroud and Griezmann in that central area, it means Mbappe receives much less dangerous passes,” Neville said.
But no matter how well England plan for Mbappe, Cash knows from painful experience that nothing can quite prepare them to face such a unique talent.
“I spent the afternoon watching his clips, but I watch the videos lying in bed. In real life, he burns my legs, that’s the difference, he says.


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