Nick Pope’s fumble wasted three-goal comeback: England vs Germany Live Reaction

Nick Pope's fumble wasted three-goal comeback: England vs Germany Live Reaction
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tThe same opponents and of course the scene of England’s greatest football triumph. I can’t promise you England 4 Germany 2 (Kane hat trick) but there should be plenty of excitement. Firstly, this is England’s last game before the World Cup in Qatar and therefore the last chance for those on the fringes of the first-team to campaign for a shot and also for Gareth Southgate to tinker with his formation and approach. Perhaps it’s also important for England to put on a decent show for their fans, many of whom are quite unhappy with the way Gareth has been running things lately.

In the Nations League, England sit bottom of Group A3 with just two points from their last five games. Germany is third with six points, Italy second with eight points. Hungary have impressively taken 10 points from their five games and if they can take a point against the Azzurri they will make it to the finals next year. Not a bad performance. England, meanwhile, are relegated from the A groups to the B groups.

So not good times for England at the moment and a young man might think he’s backed the right horse. Here is my colleague Mike McGrath with a piece about Jamal Musiala from Germany.

Jamal Musiala is still receiving text messages joking that he should wear England’s Three Lions and not the Germany shirt he switched allegiance to after arriving in the first-team at Bayern Munich.

Musiala, 19, played on the pitches at St George’s Park when he came through the ranks at Chelsea, but his move to Bayern – and being accidentally spotted by Hansi Flick – made his decision to play for the team , difficult but relatively easy.

In any case, the teenager has not regretted the decision. Sitting in the Wembley auditorium before facing his former country, he insisted it was the famous stadium he dreamed of and not the England shirt.

“It was definitely not an easy decision,” he said. “It was a decision that I’ve thought about for a long time and I think when it all comes together, with me, my family and everyone, it was a decision I was very comfortable with. I don’t look back with regrets or anything. I made my decision and that’s it.

“Some of my friends text me here and there when they see me saying ‘I should have played for England’ and stuff like that. We joke around there, but I think they’re still happy with my decision. I’m sure some England fans will not be happy, but I think that means I’m fine if it upsets some people that I didn’t choose their country.”

Musiala’s friends from his time in England include Jude Bellingham, who also moved to Germany to start his senior career. He’s also in touch with Tino Livramento, whom he knew from Chelsea and England’s youth teams.

“Since I was with England when they were young, they’ve had amazing talent and I’ve played with a lot of them too – the under-21s and 19-year-olds,” Musiala said. “There have been a lot of players who can have amazing careers and I think England’s youth system is very well suited to building on those talents and making sure they get better.

“You have a lot of quality. I think we can say that this game is a perfect game for both of us because we will both need this game to go into the World Cup with confidence. Everyone is a bit shocked by their results at the moment.”

Musiala has a picture of himself and Gareth Southgate before he played for England. “Yes, that was at my elementary school in Corpus Christi. I saw him there, I had a picture. It’s not up to me now, but we took a picture together,” he said.

Flick only became aware of him in a training session at FC Bayern, before the coach finally took over the national team. At the time, Flick considered himself one of Bayern’s outstanding young players, but he immediately recognized that he was ready for the first team.

“It’s a funny story,” said Flick. “My assistant at FC Bayern said we have talent in the academy and I said ok, let’s see. We saw right away that he was a great talent and we never regretted it. It’s been a fantastic development and he has a great feeling on the pitch that he can solve situations in a positive coach.”

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