Exclusive: Insider reveals mood in the England camp and tips Chelsea star to get first minutes today

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Ben Jacobs has provided some exclusive insight into the mood inside the England camp ahead of tonight’s Euro 2024 game against Slovenia.

Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside for his latest Daily Briefing column, Jacobs insisted the morale among Gareth Southgate’s players remains strong despite the criticism from former players and pundits for the way the team has started this tournament.

Despite picking up four points from the first two games against Serbia and Denmark, England have not been at their best, with Southgate seeming to struggle to get the best out of talented attacking players like Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, while the jury is still out on whether or not the Trent Alexander-Arnold midfield experiment is working.

Some fans have also questioned the lack of playing time so far for Cole Palmer, though Jacobs says the Chelsea playmaker is expected to get his first minutes of the Euros tonight against Slovenia.

Inside the England camp as Cole Palmer finally set to play

Cole Palmer hasn’t played for England at Euro 2024 so far

“The mood in the England camp remains strong despite an underwhelming start to Euro 2024,” Jacobs said.

“England have already qualified for the last 16 and taken four points from their opening two games. Yet Gareth Southgate’s side have looked unconvincing after going ahead in the games against Serbia (1-0) and Denmark (1-1). This has led to media scrutiny, but most of the players have been told not to read the papers and to stay off social media.

“Gary Lineker calling the Denmark performance “sh*t” in his podcast has been discussed in the camp. Generally, Southgate and his players are open to constructive criticism and respectful of ex-players’ views.

“However, several players simply feel it’s too early to judge England and the reaction is slightly overblown given England are top of Group C and haven’t lost a game.”

On Palmer, he added: “Cole Palmer is also likely to get his first minutes against Slovenia. Palmer has been a model professional at his first major tournament with the senior England squad. He accepts his role as a squad player and is waiting patiently to make an impact.

“There is no suggestion he has voiced any concerns over his lack of playing time despite scoring 25 goals in all competitions last season and being one of the form players in the Premier League.

“Jarrod Bowen has come on instead of Palmer with Southgate favouring his experience and defensive qualities, but the Chelsea playmaker is expected to get his chance really soon.”

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