Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has taken to Twitter to name the player he was most impressed by during England’s win over Croatia.
Even if you considered England favourites to win their opening group game of the Euro 2020 tournament, at the expense of World Cup finalists Croatia, you would have had to acknowledge the strength that the visitors possess in one particular area of the field.
In Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric and Marcelo Brozovic, Croatia boast one of the strongest midfields in international football, far superior, on paper, to the Three Lions’ pivot of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, of West Ham and Leeds United respectively.
Yet, it was the England duo who maintained control of the midfield battle for the majority of the contest, with Croatia unable to get a foothold in the contest for extended periods. Kalvin Phillips, who was formidable in the middle of the park, can take a considerable amount of the credit for that.
While every England fan who was watching the game down the pub will be singing the praises of Phillips in wake of the game, he’s also earned adulation from elsewhere, with Mesut Ozil, of all people, taking to Twitter to reveal how impressed he was with the Leeds man
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) June 13, 2021
If England are to have any hope of going all the way in Euro 2020, the contributions of their midfield will be pivotal. Gareth Southgate will be keeping his fingers crossed that Phillips can maintain that performance level throughout the course of the tournament.
Click here for all the latest Euro 2020 news