Millwall

Millwall slideshow

Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky on the brink following draw with Millwall

Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky on the brink following draw with Millwall

Leonid Slutsky is fighting to save his job at Hull City after the club’s dismal start to the Championship season. The former Russia manager is close to leaving Hull after just five months and 18 league games, following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Millwall. Hull have not won for five games and Slutsky has failed to show signs of mounting a promotion challenge after the club’s relegation from the Premier League. A number of players were sold in the summer as a result of the drop into the second tier, including Sam Clucas, Harry Maguire, Andrew Robertson and Curtis Davies. But Slutsky was still given funds to strengthen the squad, spending more than £12 million to rebuild the club and vice-chairman Ehab Allam believes a change is now needed. Nigel Adkins, the former Southampton manager, has emerged as an early contender to replace the 46-year-old. Slutsky has only managed four league victories and is expected to leave Hull shortly, with the East Yorkshire club just four points adrift of the relegation zone.

Ola Aina eyes improved Hull City result after Millwall stalemate

The right-back helped the Tigers to a share of the spoils at the Den and he is targeting a better outing on Saturday

Ola Aina eyes improved Hull City result after Millwall stalemate

The right-back helped the Tigers to a share of the spoils at the Den and he is targeting a better outing on Saturday

2 Tim Cahill (Millwall to Everton £1.5m)

If they can’t be homegrown, then get them as the bargain on the century. Arguably Everton’s best ever bit of business.

Duncan Watmore facing second season out after suffering identical cruciate knee injury

The Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore is facing another season out of action having sustained a suspected rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee that he suffered an identical injury in December last year. Watmore, 22, was injured in Sunderland’s home draw against Millwall on Saturday, his sixth game back for the club following eight months away from action in rehabilitation from his cruciate injury sustained in December last year when the club were still in the Premier League. On this occasion, it is understood that Watmore suffered the impact when a Millwall player fell on top of him. He did not go off immediately but was eventually unable to continue and it was soon after the game that he was diagnosed with potentially the same cruciate ligament injury. He is due to have exploratory surgery on the knee towards the end of this week but the suspicion is that it is another rupture of the anterior cruciate which will mean he does not play again this season. It is a blow to the new Sunderland manager Chris Coleman, for whom Watmore would be one of those players the club were hoping could transform what has been a dreadful 18 months. The ultimate yo-yo clubs Watmore first ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in December last season playing against Leicester City. He had established himself as a first-team Sunderland player and part of the England Under-21 team that eventually went to the European Championships in the summer of this year, albeit without Watmore. Sunderland had tried to ease him back into first-team action and he had sat out the away defeat to Middlesbrough the week before returning to the first XI to face Millwall. Watmore had recently signed up to Juan Mata’s Common Goal programme, pledging one per cent of his salary to charity. He also represents one of Sunderland’s key current saleable assets should the club decide they need to raise transfer funds from player sales.

Duncan Watmore facing second season out after suffering identical cruciate knee injury

The Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore is facing another season out of action having sustained a suspected rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee that he suffered an identical injury in December last year. Watmore, 22, was injured in Sunderland’s home draw against Millwall on Saturday, his sixth game back for the club following eight months away from action in rehabilitation from his cruciate injury sustained in December last year when the club were still in the Premier League. On this occasion, it is understood that Watmore suffered the impact when a Millwall player fell on top of him. He did not go off immediately but was eventually unable to continue and it was soon after the game that he was diagnosed with potentially the same cruciate ligament injury. He is due to have exploratory surgery on the knee towards the end of this week but the suspicion is that it is another rupture of the anterior cruciate which will mean he does not play again this season. It is a blow to the new Sunderland manager Chris Coleman, for whom Watmore would be one of those players the club were hoping could transform what has been a dreadful 18 months. The ultimate yo-yo clubs Watmore first ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in December last season playing against Leicester City. He had established himself as a first-team Sunderland player and part of the England Under-21 team that eventually went to the European Championships in the summer of this year, albeit without Watmore. Sunderland had tried to ease him back into first-team action and he had sat out the away defeat to Middlesbrough the week before returning to the first XI to face Millwall. Watmore had recently signed up to Juan Mata’s Common Goal programme, pledging one per cent of his salary to charity. He also represents one of Sunderland’s key current saleable assets should the club decide they need to raise transfer funds from player sales.

Millwall forward Tom Elliott fit for Hull visit after overcoming knock

Millwall forward Tom Elliott fit for Hull visit after overcoming knock

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Chris Coleman takes his first training session at Sunderland and demands of players 'are you in or are you out?'

Chris Coleman took his first training session at Sunderland on Sunday and threw down the gauntlet to an underachieving group of players, saying: "I will find out pretty quickly who is in and who is out." The manager's job at the North East side has come to look like one of the hardest in football and many have questioned why Coleman would leave Wales to take it on. The former Swansea, Crystal Palace and Fulham player had enjoyed considerable success managing his national side, memorably guiding them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016. Although Wales had failed to qualify for the World Cup, the country's Football Association were keen for him to stay and met with him Friday. But Coleman said there had been a difference of opinion about the way forward. Gaffer: Chris Coleman congratulates Ashley Williams during the Belgium quarter-final Credit: AP "Having achieved what we'd achieved, I thought to take it on to the next level I needed to work slightly differently. And the powers that be in Wales saw it differently to me," he told the Sunderland website. "In my experience it was the right time for me to say, 'OK, that's as far as I'm going to take it'." Even so, it was surprise when Coleman agreed to join the club who are bottom of the Championship. However, Coleman has stressed how impressed he has been with his new digs. "I'm quite sure managers before me have said the same thing, but it really is all in place except what happens on the pitch and we've got to make sure we get that right." Coleman is Sunderland's ninth manager in the last six seasons and replaces Simon Grayson, who was sacked at the end of last month. Rubbish all over the place: Simon Grayson Credit: PA The 47-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, takes over a club in crisis, with Saturday's 2-2 draw against Millwall giving them an unwanted English record of 20 consecutive home games without a win. Coleman led his first training session on Sunday morning and will be in charge of the side for the first time for Tuesday's trip to Aston Villa. He said: "Someone's going to turn this club around. Whether it's me or whether it's the next one, sooner or later this club will start climbing again, start playing in front of a full house again, get the city rocking and rolling. I want that to be me, of course. "You can go through your career as a manager and never manage a big club. I always wanted to have that experience of managing a big club, and here I am." New era: Chris Coleman oversees Sunderland training for the first time Credit: Getty "All right, we're bottom of the league. Deal with it, get on with it. It is going to be a big challenge and I haven't got a magic idea that's going to turn it around like [clicks fingers]. "I'm going to need all the supporters, all the staff, the players, everybody to come with me. It's such a big club that, when we gather momentum, it's pretty hard to slow it down, but the start's always the toughest part. "I'll find out pretty quickly I think who's really in and who's not, and whoever's not needs to go and play football somewhere else. It's a little bit daunting, but that keeps you on your toes."  

Millwall fans donate £2,800 to Bradley Lowery Foundation in memory of young Sunderland fan

Millwall fans donate £2,800 to Bradley Lowery Foundation in memory of young Sunderland fan

Championship Review: Millwall deny sloppy Sunderland, Wolves back on top

Sunderland remain rooted to the bottom of the Championship following a frustrating draw with Millwall, while Wolves are back on top.

Sunderland serve a dark reminder to Chris Coleman of a Light dimmed

The Millwall goalkeeper, Jordan Archer, spills a cross from Adam Matthews into his own net to gift Sunderland an equaliser.

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

George Graham: 'Spurs are a bit further ahead of Arsenal now' 

It might be 22 years since George Graham left Arsenal but anyone doubting his enduring influence on each and every player he managed need only have been at the Odeon Cinema in Holloway last week. “George? Terrifying. Scared stiff of him,” says Lee Dixon. “Every so often you would think he was your mate but then you’d give the ball away and he would want to tear your head off. There’s still an aura. Put it this way. If he tells me to get him an ice-cream tonight, I’ll go and get him an ice-cream.” Paul Merson then recalls how his old manager once dealt with him giggling during training. “He didn’t say a word but then the team went up and I never played for two months.” It was of course a very different era at Arsenal – captured beautifully in the new 89 film that chronicles how they dramatically clinched the 1988-89 league title in the final seconds of the season – and one that was indelibly shaped by Graham. The stark contrast in managerial style to Arsene Wenger has only deepened a slightly rose-tinted nostalgia for the time but anyone questioning whether the modern Arsenal could benefit from a dollop of Graham-style resilience and discipline must have had their eyes shut for the past decade. Dixon tells me that you would have the “perfect” team if you could somehow combine his former managers, although he does pinpoint a pathological hatred of losing and utter certainty in their respective philosophy as shared traits. Graham arrives at the premiere of 89 Credit: Dave Benett/WireImage Graham agrees. “I don’t want to knock Arsene,” he says. “I think Arsene has been not only great for Arsenal but English football. He believes in attacking, possession football. That’s his strength. His philosophy has never changed, and that is why there are a lot of fans very supportive of him and a few saying, the way the club is structured, they could and should be doing better. A lot of people are too critical in one department [but] in the other, you can say, ‘they have got a case’. It’s a matter of finding some balance. If you said to Tottenham and a lot of clubs, ‘You are going to finish in the top four and win the FA Cup’, I think they would say, ‘Thank-you very much’. When Arsenal are playing the way they can, they are still one of the best and most attractive teams. I just have a little bit of doubt when they haven’t got the ball and the opposition have.” Graham then lets out a chuckle. “I’m trying to be nice,” he says, before explaining how, in practice, he used to organise his teams defensively. “Divide the width of the pitch with four players. Then, if we won possession, release one of the full-backs and divide the pitch by three rather than four.” Graham grimaces at the now common sight of two attacking full-backs simultaneously bombing forward. “I think, boy, they better have two good centre-halves to cover the width of the pitch. There are very few clubs in the Premier League who’ve got the balance right.” Arsenal famously conceded only 18 goals in Graham’s other championship-winning season in 1990-91 (they have already let in 16 this season) but he says that there was one superior defensive team. “AC Milan. They were the only team who played offside better than us - sprinting up as a group. Fantastic!” Now 72, and certainly mellowed in the 16 years since his career ended at Tottenham Hotspur, Graham will be back at The Emirates this lunchtime for one of the most eagerly awaited North London derbies of recent times. Never in Wenger’s tenure have Tottenham seemed so formidable and Arsenal so simultaneously vulnerable. Graham can see a power-shift, albeit with caveats. “It all depends what day you see Arsenal,” he says. “I do think Tottenham are the best defensive team in the league. [Mauricio] Pochettino believes in the pressing game but you need players to buy into that. Most want to be on the ball, not trying to win it back. That’s the hardest thing to sell but you can see the players buy into how he wants to coach. Once you have that, you can get success. I think they have a few little problems. I think you need a stronger squad. Arsenal have been much the stronger over the last few decades but I see Tottenham level now and maybe a little bit further forward. It’s a young side so you think they can only get better.” By contrast, Arsenal have the feel of a team nearing the end of a cycle and Graham believes that it would have been better simply to sell Alexis Sanchez if he wanted to join Manchester City. “If players don’t want to buy into what you are doing and want to move on - and you can tell day-to-day – then fair enough. It’s a win, win. You get a fabulous fee and you invest it in another player.” Graham hard at work at Shenley in 1992 Credit: haun Botterill/Allsport UK/Getty Images Graham actually made that very call in selling Michael Thomas to Liverpool two years after scoring the goal that has now been immortalised on screen. It must have been strange to see your younger self starring in a film? “I look back now and I say, ‘Oh my god, was I so confident? I don’t believe this’,” says Graham. “It surprised me a little bit how positive I was.” Remarkably, Graham had told his players before kick-off that night at Anfield how the match would unfold. “Don’t concede, be cautious, 0-0 at half-time is perfect. Then we’ll open a bit, score and they’ll be nervous. We’ll win 2-0.” The rest is of course history but last week was also a reminder of the enduring chemistry within a group that was meticulously assembled by a manager who would devour local newspapers for insight into potential signings. “If I was interested, I would see if I knew any of the coaches or players they had worked for. I wanted to find out about their ambition and attitude to training.” Graham was ahead of his time in the attention he paid to the character of new recruits and Dixon feels that, in retiring at 57 following subsequent jobs with Leeds United and Spurs, he finished “too early”. Yet having achieved the extraordinary feat of winning the league title, FA Cup, League Cup as well as a European trophy as both a player and manager, Graham appears genuinely content with the timing of his departure. He has been struggling with rheumatoid arthritis but evidently loves his garden, golf and “the big games” on TV. “I enjoy watching you lot on the Sunday Supplement as well,” he says. “I think I did it the right way. I worked my way up and learnt from some great coaches like Terry Venables, Dave Sexton and Don Howe. Three years at Millwall was like nine years’ experience. I went up the ladder the right way and I wasn’t prepared to come back down, dropping clubs, standards and losing whatever reputation I had. If I was going to finish, it would be at the top. That’s the way I felt and I have never regretted it.” 89 is in OurScreen.com cinemas and on DVD and digital download this month

Millwall Fans Make Classy Bradley Lowery Gesture Ahead of Weekend's Sunderland Clash

​A selection of Millwall fans have made a classy gesture ahead of their Championship trip to Sunderland this weekend by raising over over £2,000 in the name of Black Cats fan Bradley Lowery.  The youngster, who touched the nation's hearts during his battle with neuroblastoma, passed away in July this year, with now-Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe just one high-profile name to have been inspired by the six-year-old through his short life.  Sleep tight little one... ...

Millwall Fans Make Classy Bradley Lowery Gesture Ahead of Weekend's Sunderland Clash

​A selection of Millwall fans have made a classy gesture ahead of their Championship trip to Sunderland this weekend by raising over over £2,000 in the name of Black Cats fan Bradley Lowery.  The youngster, who touched the nation's hearts during his battle with neuroblastoma, passed away in July this year, with now-Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe just one high-profile name to have been inspired by the six-year-old through his short life.  Sleep tight little one... ...

Millwall Fans Make Classy Bradley Lowery Gesture Ahead of Weekend's Sunderland Clash

​A selection of Millwall fans have made a classy gesture ahead of their Championship trip to Sunderland this weekend by raising over over £2,000 in the name of Black Cats fan Bradley Lowery.  The youngster, who touched the nation's hearts during his battle with neuroblastoma, passed away in July this year, with now-Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe just one high-profile name to have been inspired by the six-year-old through his short life.  Sleep tight little one... ...

England 0 Brazil 0: Gareth Southgate's new-look side dig in to draw against 'world's best'

If they were in any doubt beforehand then Gareth Southgate’s young team can now say with certainty that the Brazil team of Neymar, Marcelo and Philippe Coutinho play football to a level to which most are unaccustomed and, in those circumstances, at times it is enough just to survive. Survive England did and in the dying moments a chance fell to the feet of Dominic Solanke, the sixth debutant of the last two games, who needed only to compose himself in order to deliver an improbable and remarkable win. The 20-year-old did not take his chance but that can happen with  young players and there have been many of them under Southgate, with Joe Gomez given his first start and second caps for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham. Through two goalless draws now against the two top-ranked nations in Fifa, there have been some fascinating questions posed: that being whether come next May, Southgate will be prepared to include any or all of these six rookies he has dropped in over two marquee friendlies. Against Germany, there was relief at a performance of promise, against Brazil his side were clinging on at times, and you might say on both occasions England have done as well as could be hoped. It is one thing to pick such a young team for Wembley friendlies against two of the big guns of the international game, it is quite another to select them ahead of more experienced, older players in what might be a manager’s one shot at a World Cup. Southgate has demonstrated a strong belief in these young players and with Brazil’s possession count standing at around 70 per cent for long periods of the game this was no simple introduction to the international game. Loftus-Cheek departed early with a recurring back problem although not before he had treated us to a drag-back that deceived Gabriel Jesus, another trick from what looks like a wide repertoire. Gomez was voted man of the match by the sponsors, generous given what Neymar was capable of when he had the ball at his feet. Marcus Rashford was England’s best attacking threat. It was an invaluable test, albeit with the World Cup just seven months away. Sam Wallace's Power Rankings 42:04 John Stones was England’s best player, followed closely by Joe Hart who was equal to every one of Brazil’s relatively few attempts on target. Stones was the hard centre of what was a five-man defence, including two full-backs, Kyle Walker and Ryan Bertrand, who barely crossed the halfway line in the first half. The Brazilian coach Tite complained later about England’s lack of adventure but there were precious few options left open to them for long periods. What any team playing Brazil has to get used to, and this presumably is why they were selected as friendly opposition, is that they will take the quality of a game right up to the limits of what their opponents are comfortable with, and often far beyond that. In a midfield missing so many of what Southgate would consider regulars, England just about lived with that standard. Southgate later identified in his players an “anxiety” at what might happen if they lost the ball, and yet he pointed out that the team held on against some of the world’s best attacking players. After 28 minutes Harry Maguire passed the ball straight into touch, seemingly just so unaccustomed to having it that he was not sure what to do and yet he, like Gomez and Stones, ended up looking back on a good performance. Dominic Solanke made his debut from the bench and had an instant impact Credit: REUTERS Southgate made the decision not to press Brazil and that meant that for much of the first half they had a free pass right over the halfway line. It was not until Jesse Lingard came on for Loftus-Cheek on 35 minutes that England seemed to get after Brazil. The 21-year-old midfielder was barely moving by the time he came off and his last few touches were not as sharp as he had once been. It needed to be against Renato Augusto, of Bejing Guoan, and Paulinho, newly of Barcelona, matched with Casemiro of Real Madrid who together are a formidable force. They form a defensive block which presses high and they are all comfortable on the ball starting attacks. England were not given time to breathe in the first half, and every turnover of possession was pursued relentlessly by that Brazil midfield. Jake Livermore was the victim of a brutal Neymar nutmeg and yet the West Bromwich Albion man, clearly not destined to be a permanent fixture in this England squad, never gave up. England found themselves committing more fouls than they usually do in midfield but no-one ever put himself in danger of a red card. Marcus Rashford showed flashes of skill on the few instances he managed to get on the ball Credit: REUTERS The only pity was that just as Brazil looked like they might be tiring with around 70 minutes left, and having brought on Willian and Fernandinho of Manchester City, so it seemed that England might be struggling too with their monumental task. There were moments when they might have broken on Brazil but here was just not the power to do so and it was then that Southgate looked at his options. Rashford and Jamie Vardy were replaced with Solanke and Abraham before the end. Solanke has been given his international debut, Southgate was at pains to point out later, before he has made a first start in the Premier League. He won a free-kick that Eric Dier could not keep on target. Fernandinho hit the post and Hart made a good save from Paulinho before Solanke’s late chance. Afterwards, Southgate pointed out that given the international break started with seven withdrawals from the squad, including the training injury to Jack Butland, this was had been a positive end to the week. Certainly a manager will never draw much public dissent for picking young players but the question that now begs is how many of them Southgate is prepared to take to take to Russia at the expense of others who have played in qualification. It would, on the face of it be a bold decision, but would it be the right one? 10:12PM Gareth Southgate seems quite proud of his youngsters "In terms of heart, resilience and spirit, it's as good as anything I've been involved in. Young players digging in... we just couldn't get hold of the ball. We showed resilience and some outstanding defending. "We had the best defensive record in qualifying, we know we need to be better with the ball, we were a bit anxious. I think Joe's performance tonight against top players... all of the defending was outstanding but to come into a game like that was outstanding." 10:05PM Ben Rumsby's player ratings Here's what our man thought of England's players: ENGLAND (3-4-1-2): Joe Hart 7, Joe Gomez 7, John Stones 8, Harry Maguire 7, Kyle Walker 7, Ryan Bertrand 7 Eric Dier 7, Jake Livermore 6, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 5 Jamie Vardy 6, Marcus Rashford 6 Substitutes: Jesse Lingard (for Loftus-Cheek, 34 minutes): 6. Dominic Solanke (for Vardy, 75 mins): 5. Tammy Abraham (for Rashford, 75 mins): 5. Ashley Young (for Bertrand, 81 mins): 5. 10:00PM Joe Gomez and Joe Hart says JH: "100 per cent we were playing the best team in the world, they were brilliant. We had to adapt on the pitch, and as much as they had, the defensive back-line did really well. Joe, I can't tell you how well he did." JG: "For me it's a great experience to play against someone like Brazil and we're happy with the cleansheet. Defensively we put in a good shift and I'm happy with that.  It's special for me, a great honour to play for England at this level. I've just got to try and improve and hope more opportunities come." Gomez has clearly been media-trained to the high hills. His answers are stock responses.  9:54PM FULL TIME A deserved draw and England will have learned a lot from this tonight. Brazil struggled to create but you sense that were this the real thing, nerves in England defenders could well have yielded better chances.  9:53PM 90 mins +3 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA A chance for England in the dying seconds! Walker has the ball wide right, looks up to see Abraham making his run into the box and plays the ball low but aims towards the back post when Abraham is attacking the middle. Walker has his head in his hands - he knows that should have gone central. 9:52PM 90 mins +2 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Lingard loses possession by taking way too long on it. Neymar steals, gets to the box and shoots low and wide. That could have been the game undone. 9:50PM 90 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA CHANCE FOR ENGLAND! That is brilliant from Solanke! He has two defenders tight to his back and nicks the pass between both to start a counter-attack in Brazil's half then sprints forward to join in. Lingard finds Young on the left, Young puts it on his right foot and curls towards the back post towards Solanke. It's close to the goalkeeper and he can't stab it behind him before he's tackled.  9:48PM 88 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Stones keeps the ball while he looks for a pass and his teammates stay still staring at him. That is how accidents happen. Gomez is the only one in defence who appears to realise but he can't go anywhere as he needs to cover the space he's in. Southgate has work to do yet.  Dier gives the ball away sloppily in the centre-circle, again. He's not had his best game this evening. After this performance, Gomez might well have played himself into the England first team. Glenn Hoddle has actually just given him MOTM, which is a nice validating coincidence. 9:45PM 86 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Marcelo has just hit the best pass of the night, on his right foot, from near the centre-circle. It rips the England defence apart and Willian sprints onto it with only the goalkeeper to beat... but is offside. Not for me, Clive. The game is opening up a bit now, Brazil are finding space in England's half and they're doing it by keeping the wide forwards wide. Coutinho and Jesus were central. Neymar darts forward, plays in Paulinho who shoots with power inside the box and Hart saves. With his chest... Paulinho heads over from the corner.  9:42PM 83 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England play from the back and are pressed by four Brazilians. Stones has to turn back with two chasing, plays it to Maguire, who finds Hart, who keeps it low for Gomez, who wins a throw in from Neymar.  Brazil come forward and England look slightly rattled all of a sudden. Young is on for Bertrand and his first involvement is to track Willian's run into the box and block superbly at the near post. That could well have been Brazil's big chance. Abraham links well with Solanke, with both naturally moving into space but Brazil clear. Great play by the youngsters and then Gomez is composed at the back to pick his pass, turn back and keep it safe with Hart at the back. 9:39PM 80 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Dier and Bertrand stand over the set piece. Dier can shoot, Bertrand can cross... Alisson comes all the way to the left of his goal. I'm not sure how I'd hit this one. Bertrand steps over it... and Dier takes his time to place the shot in the bottom left but puts it wide. Needed more curve or a better angle. 9:38PM 78 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford and Vardy off, debut for Solanke and a second cap for Abraham. What a game to make your international debut! Brazil take Jesus off for Firmino. That Brazil squad is ridiculous.  Dier's lost it! Fernandinho breaks! From 25 yards he strikes it low to the bottom corner, Hart is beaten... but it hits the outside of the post and goes wide. Dier has picked up a knock from that passage of play where he gave up the ball. Solanke gets his first touch, holds off two players, turns, wins it back and runs away, goes through Fernandinho's legs with the nutmeg - wowowow - and wins a free-kick. What a start to his international career! 9:34PM 75 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Hart hasn't bought into the 'build from the back' thing yet and hoofs the ball forward without challenge. Brazil, of course, win possession and look to get the passes going. England need to keep patient and hold their shape here - it's been 75 minutes of hard work but they need to keep it tight to secure a metaphorical point.  But here come Brazil! Forwards dash into the area... and go down! Do they want a penalty? The referee doesn't care and the ball is pinged up to Vardy! But Vardy takes forever to make a decision and is caught on the ball. Brazil win it back. 9:31PM 72 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford turns his man on the left, keeps possession with the defender sticking tight. Livermore receives, plays the pass and gets it back... then runs out of ideas. Maguire steps up and switches play with a chipped pass to the right wing, Walker controls, moves inside... and passes straight to the defence. Brazil counter quickly but England cope and absorb the attack. 9:29PM 69 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS That's Rashford turning Miranda inside out. Fernandinho and Willian on, Coutinho and Augusto off. As far as I can tell, England don't have anyone ready to come on either. Is Southgate taking this friendly seriously? It's all about creating a change in mentality for him, so ensuring this game isn't just a way to award free caps is probably a smart move. It's Brazil, after all. 9:26PM 67 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Dier's pass back to the centre-backs is awful and Stones is under real pressure here! Will he boot it out... or this one of 'those' moments?! He hits it hard out to the left... and Bertrand takes it down on his chest. Absolutely fantastic defending from Stones. But Bertrand's given it away! Brazil have three forwards... but end up conceding a free-kick on the edge of England's box. Chance gone.  9:23PM 64 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA And Jesus is back. Weird. A long ball over the top to Vardy forces Alisson off his line... but Vardy is offside anyway. Walker wins a free-kick in the centre-circle, Rashford tries some more trickery on the wing and keeps the ball superbly.  Lingard shows great close control to take the ball down, flick it over a challenge and win a free-kick. England are growing in confidence. Gomez shows a turn of pace with a smart move around Neymar and then Vardy turns his man! Ole! But Brazil win it back.  9:20PM 61 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesus takes a knock while trying to do a sombrero over Gomez's head. I'm not entirely sure where the pain has come from there because Gomez barely even touches him. Maybe cramp? In... the ankle? I'm no doctor but that doesn't sound right to me. He started off by rubbing his shin. Now the physios are looking at his knee.... and he's alive. But hobbles off the pitch.  9:17PM 58 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England's defenders and midfielders want to keep the ball and pass it short, Vardy and Rashford want to go direct and over the top. It's making it a little difficult thtne for England to keep the ball in the final third. Rashford dribbles past one player, nutmegs Marcelo OH MY WORD HE'S BEATEN ANOTHER but now he's been tackled. That was exciting though! Rashford showing some samba football flair. 9:16PM 56 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: AFP Meanwhile, over in Ireland, it's 4-1 to Denmark. Not good for the boys in green. Over in England, there's not an awful lot happening. Alves is booked for a foul on Bertrand. England are managing this one well and haven't really been troubled. That said, they haven't done an awful lot at the other end of the pitch.   9:14PM 54 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England win a free-kick wide on the left wing. Rashford hooks it in, Maguire attacks at the back post and is perplexed to have given away another free-kick. He was climbing on the last man Livermore is completely binned by Neymar's stepovers and knocks him to the floor. Yellow card. 9:11PM 51 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England are pressing at the halfway line, sat deep in their own half and Augusto is surrounded, hitting a weak pass into Rashford's path. He plays it to Livermore and sprints forward looking for the ball over the top... but it doesn't come and the chance goes.  Jesus plays a no-look pass to Coutinho inside the box, the ball bounces off Coutinho's ankle in the six yard box while he lines up the pass... and goes behind for a goal kick. 9:08PM 48 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford might be in here! No. No he's been blocked out of it. Brazil survive and work the ball up the other end. Neymar carries it through the middle, Augusto is sprinting into heaps of space on the left! He must be in! Neymar doesn't pass, turns inside and threads a ball through the middle instead. Absolutely brilliant from Neymar. Jesus and Coutinho get in each others' way and Hart saves.  Alves howls in pain after a challenge from Livermore and lashes out with a kick then stands up to confront him. Livermore pulls him in for a cuddle to prevent an actual fight. 9:05PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! Jesus starts the second half. 8:59PM Analysis "We're not holding the ball enough" is the general consensus among the ITV pundit crew. Ryan Giggs says England just aren't passing it well enough, Ian Wright thinks someone needs to take charge of possession. I'm not an ex-pro, but I'd suggest the difference in technical ability between the two is entirely noticeable. Every Brazilian looks to be able to control a ball dead as though it were second nature. In the first half, Bertrand had about two seconds to measure a long pass and his first touch made it bounce a few yards away. England can't ping quick passes around if players aren't moving into space constantly, and can't risk making those moves if they aren't able to control the ball under pressure at high speed. A conundrum! 8:49PM HALF TIME England look absolutely fine here. I wonder how they'd fare were this a knock-out competition game though when the nerves make legs do strange things. The biggest thing to note in that half was poor Loftus-Cheek who has been substituted with what seems like a muscle injury. 8:46PM 45 mins +1 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England are trying to play the short passes through midfield that Man City are very good at, firing it first time at the next man in space. The problem is that they manage a sequence of two passes and then nobody is available to take the ball for the third... and they stay still or have to go backwards.  Brazil work the ball around England's half but can't get inside the final third thanks to a solid, organised shape from England. 8:43PM 43 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Since the change of shape England have been able to get onto the ball and keep it for a bit. Brazil are having to actually defend for the first period in the game. 8:41PM 41 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Lingard has been England's best player since coming on. He's looking to keep the ball in midfield, is dropping into space and linking play, while also making forward runs at pace.  Dier, who is meant to be the holding central midfielder, turns up on the right wing to cross into the box. Brazil win possession and attack but Neymar - who doesn't seem to be enjoying himself - is on a different page to the player making the last pass. 8:39PM 39 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS Augustin clips Lingard while chasing him at pace and isn't happy about it. This will give Rashford a chance to shoot from about 30 yards, with that knuckle-ball style he's rather good at.  It's actually a cross into the middle and both Stones and Maguire attack the back post. Stones has to be strong to keep his feet as he puts the header back across goal but he's ruled to have fouled while doing so. 8:36PM 36 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesse Lingard comes on for Loftus-Cheek, which will probably mean a change of shape. He heads over to Rashford to - I think - explain the tactical switch. That'll probably be a 3-4-3? At the moment it looks like Lingard is the right-sided forward. 8:35PM 33 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesus is played clean through with a smart bit of play but is offisde. Loftus-Cheek is clearly struggling here and will have to come off. That's such a shame - right after the highlight of his career, he's set for a spell on the sidelines. Potentially, of course.  England attack down the left, the ball is swung in, headed back to Rashford... he needs to shoot but has his back to goal! Can he turn? No... pass... no... shoot... no. He passes backwards and Brazil win the ball, getting it forward rapidly and stepping up to control the pitch again. England can't keep the ball. 8:30PM 30 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Maguire intercepts but rushes his pass and puts it out for a throw - that's usually a sign of panic. England could well be starting to feel the stretch - how much longer can they keep Brazil shooting from long range? And right on cue, Neymar puts another long range shot into orbit. Dreadful effort. 8:27PM 27 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS  That's Gareth Southgate pictured trying to control his England players with the power of his mind alone. John Stones has landed awkwardly, jolting his knee on landing. Then he kicks his foot above his head to clear away from Neymar inside the box and is down again... he won't want to go off. And Loftus-Cheek is having treatment from the physio as well.  8:25PM 24 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Brazil have had 71 per cent of possession so far tonight apparently. And they're using it well! Neymar beats the entire defence with an unbelievable pass off the outside of his left foot. It chips over Dier's head and puts Jesus through on goal. Hart comes off his line, Jesus goes around him... but is offside.  8:22PM 22 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Paulinho, who Glenn Hoddle says is one of the worst players he's ever seen at Spurs, shoots from 20 yards on the outside of his foot but puts it high and wide. Mistake by Marcelo! England nick it back, Vardy feeds Loftus-Cheek on the right, who keeps the ball from three defenders and dribbles/passes to keep it moving. I think he gets lucky there but it's a lovely bit of dribbling. Brazil win it back.  England have adjusted their defensive line a bit, starting a little higher forward to try and stop the constant waves of Brazil attack. 8:19PM 19 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA RASHFORD! Great effort! It's really good buildup play from England who work the ball from Hart all the way to Rashford. He cuts inside and leaves his man, using the little space he gets to fire a dipping knuckle-ball shot at goal. It bounces right in front of the goalkeeper at Formula One speed but is too close to him to cause real panic. Alisson holds. Forward thinking and a flash of skill by the Man Utd player there! 8:16PM 16 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: GETTY IMAGES Great defending by Gomez, who keeps possession while being closed down and heads back to Hart.  Brazil are pressing high up the pitch and winning the ball back extremely quickly, forcing a hurried long pass which hands the ball back to the defenders. Livermore reads a pass, chases the deflection down and then pushes Alves, who waits to see if he should go down... and then does. 8:14PM 14 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Brazil look faster, more creative... and just better. There is a gap in talent here. England keep giving the ball away by trying to make forwards chase it high up the pitch - and then they can't control the ball. Walker manages to concede possession from a throw-in deep in Brazil's half.  8:12PM 11 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA The England crowd sounds very young this evening. The roars are pretty high pitched and they peak as Rashford waits for a ball to bounce for him as he heads towards goal. Alisson comes off his line to claim under pressure. Marcelo has just scooped the ball behind himself down the left wing with a brilliant bit of trickery but Neymar ruins the chance by punting the ball wildly out of play. It flies out of camera shot and Clive says "it's still rising". 8:09PM 8 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA This game has started at a really high tempo. Brazil look a little bit more comfortable on the ball, England sitting back looking to hit balls over the top of the defence. Neymar tricks his way into the centre of the pitch but does a little too much.  It's all Brazil right at the moment, with England defending in a five.  8:05PM 5 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Paulinho ghosts past a tackle and plays Jesus in, who crosses over to Neymar, who shields the ball well. Or he does until England win the ball back and send Vardy away on the counter! He races down the right wing and has Rashford inside but his cross is too early and a little too far ahead of his partner.  Alves gets forward and tries a shot from 25 yards but he mis-hits and puts it way wide. 8:03PM 3 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford attacks and is tackled near the Brazil box, Hart takes his time with a kick near his own goal and gets the crowd worked up as that time is extended right up til the point Neymar closes him down. Dani Alves has gone down after a 50/50 with Vardy, who goes in aggressively and catches him accidentally. He looks to be in a bit of pain on his right knee. 8:01PM KICK-OFF And here we go! Eric Dier gets the game started. Brazil's strip is just so lovely. 7:55PM National anthems Which means it's time to listen to the greatest football song of all time:   7:54PM Pre-match long read This by Rob Bagchi is an excellent read. Tite - revivalist, revolutionary or reactionary? How Brazil recovered from national humiliation Credit: REUTERS Brazil in 1970, wrote the great Uruguayan essayist and epigrammist Eduardo Galeano, “played a soccer worthy of her people’s yearning for celebration and craving for beauty”. It has become commonplace to argue ever since their grisly campaign to defend the World Cup in 1974 that the subsequent five decades have been spent in a kind of aesthetic wilderness, betraying the credo and paradigm of ‘the beautiful game’ in grim pursuit of defensive robustness to counterbalance the seemingly ad-lib attacking ingenuity. A fear of being overrun by unyielding, ruthless opponents should Brazil return to first principles as they did under Tele Santana in 1982, the hypothesis goes, has reduced them to sacrificing the poetic for the prosaic.   Click here to read more. 7:52PM Southgate says "At the moment they're the best team in the world. It's brilliant to test ourselves against the best. "Before some of the pullouts we might not have played (Loftus-Cheek) in the first game. "We've now got to dream of what's possible, not think about what might happen if we lose. Collectively that might take them above the level they're at now.  "To have success next summer we've got to beat these probably." 7:50PM Southgate's new assistant manager Credit: REUTERS  Have you ever seen Millwall look as glamorous as this? Credit: REUTERS   7:48PM Do you remember Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? A great England international of a forgotten time:   7:44PM Jason Burt: We should applaud Southgate for courage of his convictions I loved this piece from last night by Jason Burt on Southgate's strong-minded opinions reflecting a real attitude for change. Here's the first bit: If he is fit then Nathaniel Chalobah will be in the England squad for the World Cup. The 22-year-old is recovering from fracturing a kneecap and the hope is that he will be back playing for Watford by the end of March, if not before. If that happens then Gareth Southgate can be expected to take Chalobah as part of his 23-man squad, even though the midfielder will have played only a handful of Premier League matches and is yet to be capped by the senior England team. Why? Because he fits the vision. He fits the plan. He fits the way England will play. Because, in Southgate, England have, in fact, the boldest manager in recent times, the boldest, since Terry Venables back in the mid-90s. Venables was such a strong influence on Southgate, who played under him at Euro 96, and the way he wants his England to operate. 7:42PM Neymar just hanging out Credit: GETTY IMAGES   7:33PM Lee Dixon is scared of Brazil... from the warm-up "If that warm-up is anything to go by... we're in trouble. It was awesome watching them."   7:31PM All the goalkeepers Credit: REUTERS That young chap on the right is Angus Gunn, who is currently playing very well for Norwich in the Championship. He hasn't played a single Premier League game for Man City, who own him, but that hasn't put Gareth Southgate off bringing him into the squad. I think it's great that Southgate actually treats the Under-21s as a stepping stone and doesn't just pick whoever happens to be famous at the time. 7:20PM Brazil starting lineup I can't find a teamsheet anywhere for some reason but this is what I believe to be the starting XI from various bits of online research. Harry Maguire is going to be defending against Coutinho, Jesus and Neymar this evening. It'll be fun to watch. Brazil Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo, Paulinho, Casemiro, Augusto, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar 7:06PM Hello! Greetings everyone and welcome to our liveblog for tonight's international exhibition, as it would be referred to in ISS 98. That's a 90s video game reference for you there. In more relevant news, here is the England team. England Here's the #ThreeLions teamsheet for tonight's game against Brazil! �� pic.twitter.com/cFFlAp7GIB— England (@England) November 14, 2017 Joe Hart keeps his place in goal, while Joe Gomez - who was excellent against Germany - starts this time in place of the injured Phil Jones. Loftus-Cheek gets another chance to make that number 10 shirt adjust to his frame and does so in behind a front two of Vardy and Rashford, which suggests this is a team built for the counter-attack. That is fast. Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers Hart; Gomez, Maguire, Stones; Bertrand, Livermore, Dier, Walker, Loftus-Cheek; Vardy, Rashford. Credit: PA Gareth Southgate was bold and loud with his thoughts on how highly England players should regard national (football) duty, taking aim at those who pull out of friendlies like this one at short notice: “Coutinho hasn’t played for a few weeks for Liverpool, but he is there for Brazil. I imagine part of that is because he is thinking ‘if I’m not there and I’m not playing and someone else goes in, do I get the shirt back?’ “Maybe we haven’t had that, but I think moving forward we will have and I think that will affect people’s approach, definitely.”

England 0 Brazil 0: Gareth Southgate's new-look side dig in to draw against 'world's best'

If they were in any doubt beforehand then Gareth Southgate’s young team can now say with certainty that the Brazil team of Neymar, Marcelo and Philippe Coutinho play football to a level to which most are unaccustomed and, in those circumstances, at times it is enough just to survive. Survive England did and in the dying moments a chance fell to the feet of Dominic Solanke, the sixth debutant of the last two games, who needed only to compose himself in order to deliver an improbable and remarkable win. The 20-year-old did not take his chance but that can happen with  young players and there have been many of them under Southgate, with Joe Gomez given his first start and second caps for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham. Through two goalless draws now against the two top-ranked nations in Fifa, there have been some fascinating questions posed: that being whether come next May, Southgate will be prepared to include any or all of these six rookies he has dropped in over two marquee friendlies. Against Germany, there was relief at a performance of promise, against Brazil his side were clinging on at times, and you might say on both occasions England have done as well as could be hoped. It is one thing to pick such a young team for Wembley friendlies against two of the big guns of the international game, it is quite another to select them ahead of more experienced, older players in what might be a manager’s one shot at a World Cup. Southgate has demonstrated a strong belief in these young players and with Brazil’s possession count standing at around 70 per cent for long periods of the game this was no simple introduction to the international game. Loftus-Cheek departed early with a recurring back problem although not before he had treated us to a drag-back that deceived Gabriel Jesus, another trick from what looks like a wide repertoire. Gomez was voted man of the match by the sponsors, generous given what Neymar was capable of when he had the ball at his feet. Marcus Rashford was England’s best attacking threat. It was an invaluable test, albeit with the World Cup just seven months away. Sam Wallace's Power Rankings 42:04 John Stones was England’s best player, followed closely by Joe Hart who was equal to every one of Brazil’s relatively few attempts on target. Stones was the hard centre of what was a five-man defence, including two full-backs, Kyle Walker and Ryan Bertrand, who barely crossed the halfway line in the first half. The Brazilian coach Tite complained later about England’s lack of adventure but there were precious few options left open to them for long periods. What any team playing Brazil has to get used to, and this presumably is why they were selected as friendly opposition, is that they will take the quality of a game right up to the limits of what their opponents are comfortable with, and often far beyond that. In a midfield missing so many of what Southgate would consider regulars, England just about lived with that standard. Southgate later identified in his players an “anxiety” at what might happen if they lost the ball, and yet he pointed out that the team held on against some of the world’s best attacking players. After 28 minutes Harry Maguire passed the ball straight into touch, seemingly just so unaccustomed to having it that he was not sure what to do and yet he, like Gomez and Stones, ended up looking back on a good performance. Dominic Solanke made his debut from the bench and had an instant impact Credit: REUTERS Southgate made the decision not to press Brazil and that meant that for much of the first half they had a free pass right over the halfway line. It was not until Jesse Lingard came on for Loftus-Cheek on 35 minutes that England seemed to get after Brazil. The 21-year-old midfielder was barely moving by the time he came off and his last few touches were not as sharp as he had once been. It needed to be against Renato Augusto, of Bejing Guoan, and Paulinho, newly of Barcelona, matched with Casemiro of Real Madrid who together are a formidable force. They form a defensive block which presses high and they are all comfortable on the ball starting attacks. England were not given time to breathe in the first half, and every turnover of possession was pursued relentlessly by that Brazil midfield. Jake Livermore was the victim of a brutal Neymar nutmeg and yet the West Bromwich Albion man, clearly not destined to be a permanent fixture in this England squad, never gave up. England found themselves committing more fouls than they usually do in midfield but no-one ever put himself in danger of a red card. Marcus Rashford showed flashes of skill on the few instances he managed to get on the ball Credit: REUTERS The only pity was that just as Brazil looked like they might be tiring with around 70 minutes left, and having brought on Willian and Fernandinho of Manchester City, so it seemed that England might be struggling too with their monumental task. There were moments when they might have broken on Brazil but here was just not the power to do so and it was then that Southgate looked at his options. Rashford and Jamie Vardy were replaced with Solanke and Abraham before the end. Solanke has been given his international debut, Southgate was at pains to point out later, before he has made a first start in the Premier League. He won a free-kick that Eric Dier could not keep on target. Fernandinho hit the post and Hart made a good save from Paulinho before Solanke’s late chance. Afterwards, Southgate pointed out that given the international break started with seven withdrawals from the squad, including the training injury to Jack Butland, this was had been a positive end to the week. Certainly a manager will never draw much public dissent for picking young players but the question that now begs is how many of them Southgate is prepared to take to take to Russia at the expense of others who have played in qualification. It would, on the face of it be a bold decision, but would it be the right one? 10:12PM Gareth Southgate seems quite proud of his youngsters "In terms of heart, resilience and spirit, it's as good as anything I've been involved in. Young players digging in... we just couldn't get hold of the ball. We showed resilience and some outstanding defending. "We had the best defensive record in qualifying, we know we need to be better with the ball, we were a bit anxious. I think Joe's performance tonight against top players... all of the defending was outstanding but to come into a game like that was outstanding." 10:05PM Ben Rumsby's player ratings Here's what our man thought of England's players: ENGLAND (3-4-1-2): Joe Hart 7, Joe Gomez 7, John Stones 8, Harry Maguire 7, Kyle Walker 7, Ryan Bertrand 7 Eric Dier 7, Jake Livermore 6, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 5 Jamie Vardy 6, Marcus Rashford 6 Substitutes: Jesse Lingard (for Loftus-Cheek, 34 minutes): 6. Dominic Solanke (for Vardy, 75 mins): 5. Tammy Abraham (for Rashford, 75 mins): 5. Ashley Young (for Bertrand, 81 mins): 5. 10:00PM Joe Gomez and Joe Hart says JH: "100 per cent we were playing the best team in the world, they were brilliant. We had to adapt on the pitch, and as much as they had, the defensive back-line did really well. Joe, I can't tell you how well he did." JG: "For me it's a great experience to play against someone like Brazil and we're happy with the cleansheet. Defensively we put in a good shift and I'm happy with that.  It's special for me, a great honour to play for England at this level. I've just got to try and improve and hope more opportunities come." Gomez has clearly been media-trained to the high hills. His answers are stock responses.  9:54PM FULL TIME A deserved draw and England will have learned a lot from this tonight. Brazil struggled to create but you sense that were this the real thing, nerves in England defenders could well have yielded better chances.  9:53PM 90 mins +3 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA A chance for England in the dying seconds! Walker has the ball wide right, looks up to see Abraham making his run into the box and plays the ball low but aims towards the back post when Abraham is attacking the middle. Walker has his head in his hands - he knows that should have gone central. 9:52PM 90 mins +2 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Lingard loses possession by taking way too long on it. Neymar steals, gets to the box and shoots low and wide. That could have been the game undone. 9:50PM 90 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA CHANCE FOR ENGLAND! That is brilliant from Solanke! He has two defenders tight to his back and nicks the pass between both to start a counter-attack in Brazil's half then sprints forward to join in. Lingard finds Young on the left, Young puts it on his right foot and curls towards the back post towards Solanke. It's close to the goalkeeper and he can't stab it behind him before he's tackled.  9:48PM 88 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Stones keeps the ball while he looks for a pass and his teammates stay still staring at him. That is how accidents happen. Gomez is the only one in defence who appears to realise but he can't go anywhere as he needs to cover the space he's in. Southgate has work to do yet.  Dier gives the ball away sloppily in the centre-circle, again. He's not had his best game this evening. After this performance, Gomez might well have played himself into the England first team. Glenn Hoddle has actually just given him MOTM, which is a nice validating coincidence. 9:45PM 86 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Marcelo has just hit the best pass of the night, on his right foot, from near the centre-circle. It rips the England defence apart and Willian sprints onto it with only the goalkeeper to beat... but is offside. Not for me, Clive. The game is opening up a bit now, Brazil are finding space in England's half and they're doing it by keeping the wide forwards wide. Coutinho and Jesus were central. Neymar darts forward, plays in Paulinho who shoots with power inside the box and Hart saves. With his chest... Paulinho heads over from the corner.  9:42PM 83 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England play from the back and are pressed by four Brazilians. Stones has to turn back with two chasing, plays it to Maguire, who finds Hart, who keeps it low for Gomez, who wins a throw in from Neymar.  Brazil come forward and England look slightly rattled all of a sudden. Young is on for Bertrand and his first involvement is to track Willian's run into the box and block superbly at the near post. That could well have been Brazil's big chance. Abraham links well with Solanke, with both naturally moving into space but Brazil clear. Great play by the youngsters and then Gomez is composed at the back to pick his pass, turn back and keep it safe with Hart at the back. 9:39PM 80 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Dier and Bertrand stand over the set piece. Dier can shoot, Bertrand can cross... Alisson comes all the way to the left of his goal. I'm not sure how I'd hit this one. Bertrand steps over it... and Dier takes his time to place the shot in the bottom left but puts it wide. Needed more curve or a better angle. 9:38PM 78 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford and Vardy off, debut for Solanke and a second cap for Abraham. What a game to make your international debut! Brazil take Jesus off for Firmino. That Brazil squad is ridiculous.  Dier's lost it! Fernandinho breaks! From 25 yards he strikes it low to the bottom corner, Hart is beaten... but it hits the outside of the post and goes wide. Dier has picked up a knock from that passage of play where he gave up the ball. Solanke gets his first touch, holds off two players, turns, wins it back and runs away, goes through Fernandinho's legs with the nutmeg - wowowow - and wins a free-kick. What a start to his international career! 9:34PM 75 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Hart hasn't bought into the 'build from the back' thing yet and hoofs the ball forward without challenge. Brazil, of course, win possession and look to get the passes going. England need to keep patient and hold their shape here - it's been 75 minutes of hard work but they need to keep it tight to secure a metaphorical point.  But here come Brazil! Forwards dash into the area... and go down! Do they want a penalty? The referee doesn't care and the ball is pinged up to Vardy! But Vardy takes forever to make a decision and is caught on the ball. Brazil win it back. 9:31PM 72 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford turns his man on the left, keeps possession with the defender sticking tight. Livermore receives, plays the pass and gets it back... then runs out of ideas. Maguire steps up and switches play with a chipped pass to the right wing, Walker controls, moves inside... and passes straight to the defence. Brazil counter quickly but England cope and absorb the attack. 9:29PM 69 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS That's Rashford turning Miranda inside out. Fernandinho and Willian on, Coutinho and Augusto off. As far as I can tell, England don't have anyone ready to come on either. Is Southgate taking this friendly seriously? It's all about creating a change in mentality for him, so ensuring this game isn't just a way to award free caps is probably a smart move. It's Brazil, after all. 9:26PM 67 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Dier's pass back to the centre-backs is awful and Stones is under real pressure here! Will he boot it out... or this one of 'those' moments?! He hits it hard out to the left... and Bertrand takes it down on his chest. Absolutely fantastic defending from Stones. But Bertrand's given it away! Brazil have three forwards... but end up conceding a free-kick on the edge of England's box. Chance gone.  9:23PM 64 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA And Jesus is back. Weird. A long ball over the top to Vardy forces Alisson off his line... but Vardy is offside anyway. Walker wins a free-kick in the centre-circle, Rashford tries some more trickery on the wing and keeps the ball superbly.  Lingard shows great close control to take the ball down, flick it over a challenge and win a free-kick. England are growing in confidence. Gomez shows a turn of pace with a smart move around Neymar and then Vardy turns his man! Ole! But Brazil win it back.  9:20PM 61 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesus takes a knock while trying to do a sombrero over Gomez's head. I'm not entirely sure where the pain has come from there because Gomez barely even touches him. Maybe cramp? In... the ankle? I'm no doctor but that doesn't sound right to me. He started off by rubbing his shin. Now the physios are looking at his knee.... and he's alive. But hobbles off the pitch.  9:17PM 58 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England's defenders and midfielders want to keep the ball and pass it short, Vardy and Rashford want to go direct and over the top. It's making it a little difficult thtne for England to keep the ball in the final third. Rashford dribbles past one player, nutmegs Marcelo OH MY WORD HE'S BEATEN ANOTHER but now he's been tackled. That was exciting though! Rashford showing some samba football flair. 9:16PM 56 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: AFP Meanwhile, over in Ireland, it's 4-1 to Denmark. Not good for the boys in green. Over in England, there's not an awful lot happening. Alves is booked for a foul on Bertrand. England are managing this one well and haven't really been troubled. That said, they haven't done an awful lot at the other end of the pitch.   9:14PM 54 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England win a free-kick wide on the left wing. Rashford hooks it in, Maguire attacks at the back post and is perplexed to have given away another free-kick. He was climbing on the last man Livermore is completely binned by Neymar's stepovers and knocks him to the floor. Yellow card. 9:11PM 51 mins  - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England are pressing at the halfway line, sat deep in their own half and Augusto is surrounded, hitting a weak pass into Rashford's path. He plays it to Livermore and sprints forward looking for the ball over the top... but it doesn't come and the chance goes.  Jesus plays a no-look pass to Coutinho inside the box, the ball bounces off Coutinho's ankle in the six yard box while he lines up the pass... and goes behind for a goal kick. 9:08PM 48 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford might be in here! No. No he's been blocked out of it. Brazil survive and work the ball up the other end. Neymar carries it through the middle, Augusto is sprinting into heaps of space on the left! He must be in! Neymar doesn't pass, turns inside and threads a ball through the middle instead. Absolutely brilliant from Neymar. Jesus and Coutinho get in each others' way and Hart saves.  Alves howls in pain after a challenge from Livermore and lashes out with a kick then stands up to confront him. Livermore pulls him in for a cuddle to prevent an actual fight. 9:05PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! Jesus starts the second half. 8:59PM Analysis "We're not holding the ball enough" is the general consensus among the ITV pundit crew. Ryan Giggs says England just aren't passing it well enough, Ian Wright thinks someone needs to take charge of possession. I'm not an ex-pro, but I'd suggest the difference in technical ability between the two is entirely noticeable. Every Brazilian looks to be able to control a ball dead as though it were second nature. In the first half, Bertrand had about two seconds to measure a long pass and his first touch made it bounce a few yards away. England can't ping quick passes around if players aren't moving into space constantly, and can't risk making those moves if they aren't able to control the ball under pressure at high speed. A conundrum! 8:49PM HALF TIME England look absolutely fine here. I wonder how they'd fare were this a knock-out competition game though when the nerves make legs do strange things. The biggest thing to note in that half was poor Loftus-Cheek who has been substituted with what seems like a muscle injury. 8:46PM 45 mins +1 - ENG 0 - 0 BRA England are trying to play the short passes through midfield that Man City are very good at, firing it first time at the next man in space. The problem is that they manage a sequence of two passes and then nobody is available to take the ball for the third... and they stay still or have to go backwards.  Brazil work the ball around England's half but can't get inside the final third thanks to a solid, organised shape from England. 8:43PM 43 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Since the change of shape England have been able to get onto the ball and keep it for a bit. Brazil are having to actually defend for the first period in the game. 8:41PM 41 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Lingard has been England's best player since coming on. He's looking to keep the ball in midfield, is dropping into space and linking play, while also making forward runs at pace.  Dier, who is meant to be the holding central midfielder, turns up on the right wing to cross into the box. Brazil win possession and attack but Neymar - who doesn't seem to be enjoying himself - is on a different page to the player making the last pass. 8:39PM 39 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS Augustin clips Lingard while chasing him at pace and isn't happy about it. This will give Rashford a chance to shoot from about 30 yards, with that knuckle-ball style he's rather good at.  It's actually a cross into the middle and both Stones and Maguire attack the back post. Stones has to be strong to keep his feet as he puts the header back across goal but he's ruled to have fouled while doing so. 8:36PM 36 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesse Lingard comes on for Loftus-Cheek, which will probably mean a change of shape. He heads over to Rashford to - I think - explain the tactical switch. That'll probably be a 3-4-3? At the moment it looks like Lingard is the right-sided forward. 8:35PM 33 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Jesus is played clean through with a smart bit of play but is offisde. Loftus-Cheek is clearly struggling here and will have to come off. That's such a shame - right after the highlight of his career, he's set for a spell on the sidelines. Potentially, of course.  England attack down the left, the ball is swung in, headed back to Rashford... he needs to shoot but has his back to goal! Can he turn? No... pass... no... shoot... no. He passes backwards and Brazil win the ball, getting it forward rapidly and stepping up to control the pitch again. England can't keep the ball. 8:30PM 30 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Maguire intercepts but rushes his pass and puts it out for a throw - that's usually a sign of panic. England could well be starting to feel the stretch - how much longer can they keep Brazil shooting from long range? And right on cue, Neymar puts another long range shot into orbit. Dreadful effort. 8:27PM 27 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: REUTERS  That's Gareth Southgate pictured trying to control his England players with the power of his mind alone. John Stones has landed awkwardly, jolting his knee on landing. Then he kicks his foot above his head to clear away from Neymar inside the box and is down again... he won't want to go off. And Loftus-Cheek is having treatment from the physio as well.  8:25PM 24 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Brazil have had 71 per cent of possession so far tonight apparently. And they're using it well! Neymar beats the entire defence with an unbelievable pass off the outside of his left foot. It chips over Dier's head and puts Jesus through on goal. Hart comes off his line, Jesus goes around him... but is offside.  8:22PM 22 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Paulinho, who Glenn Hoddle says is one of the worst players he's ever seen at Spurs, shoots from 20 yards on the outside of his foot but puts it high and wide. Mistake by Marcelo! England nick it back, Vardy feeds Loftus-Cheek on the right, who keeps the ball from three defenders and dribbles/passes to keep it moving. I think he gets lucky there but it's a lovely bit of dribbling. Brazil win it back.  England have adjusted their defensive line a bit, starting a little higher forward to try and stop the constant waves of Brazil attack. 8:19PM 19 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA RASHFORD! Great effort! It's really good buildup play from England who work the ball from Hart all the way to Rashford. He cuts inside and leaves his man, using the little space he gets to fire a dipping knuckle-ball shot at goal. It bounces right in front of the goalkeeper at Formula One speed but is too close to him to cause real panic. Alisson holds. Forward thinking and a flash of skill by the Man Utd player there! 8:16PM 16 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Credit: GETTY IMAGES Great defending by Gomez, who keeps possession while being closed down and heads back to Hart.  Brazil are pressing high up the pitch and winning the ball back extremely quickly, forcing a hurried long pass which hands the ball back to the defenders. Livermore reads a pass, chases the deflection down and then pushes Alves, who waits to see if he should go down... and then does. 8:14PM 14 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Brazil look faster, more creative... and just better. There is a gap in talent here. England keep giving the ball away by trying to make forwards chase it high up the pitch - and then they can't control the ball. Walker manages to concede possession from a throw-in deep in Brazil's half.  8:12PM 11 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA The England crowd sounds very young this evening. The roars are pretty high pitched and they peak as Rashford waits for a ball to bounce for him as he heads towards goal. Alisson comes off his line to claim under pressure. Marcelo has just scooped the ball behind himself down the left wing with a brilliant bit of trickery but Neymar ruins the chance by punting the ball wildly out of play. It flies out of camera shot and Clive says "it's still rising". 8:09PM 8 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA This game has started at a really high tempo. Brazil look a little bit more comfortable on the ball, England sitting back looking to hit balls over the top of the defence. Neymar tricks his way into the centre of the pitch but does a little too much.  It's all Brazil right at the moment, with England defending in a five.  8:05PM 5 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Paulinho ghosts past a tackle and plays Jesus in, who crosses over to Neymar, who shields the ball well. Or he does until England win the ball back and send Vardy away on the counter! He races down the right wing and has Rashford inside but his cross is too early and a little too far ahead of his partner.  Alves gets forward and tries a shot from 25 yards but he mis-hits and puts it way wide. 8:03PM 3 mins - ENG 0 - 0 BRA Rashford attacks and is tackled near the Brazil box, Hart takes his time with a kick near his own goal and gets the crowd worked up as that time is extended right up til the point Neymar closes him down. Dani Alves has gone down after a 50/50 with Vardy, who goes in aggressively and catches him accidentally. He looks to be in a bit of pain on his right knee. 8:01PM KICK-OFF And here we go! Eric Dier gets the game started. Brazil's strip is just so lovely. 7:55PM National anthems Which means it's time to listen to the greatest football song of all time:   7:54PM Pre-match long read This by Rob Bagchi is an excellent read. Tite - revivalist, revolutionary or reactionary? How Brazil recovered from national humiliation Credit: REUTERS Brazil in 1970, wrote the great Uruguayan essayist and epigrammist Eduardo Galeano, “played a soccer worthy of her people’s yearning for celebration and craving for beauty”. It has become commonplace to argue ever since their grisly campaign to defend the World Cup in 1974 that the subsequent five decades have been spent in a kind of aesthetic wilderness, betraying the credo and paradigm of ‘the beautiful game’ in grim pursuit of defensive robustness to counterbalance the seemingly ad-lib attacking ingenuity. A fear of being overrun by unyielding, ruthless opponents should Brazil return to first principles as they did under Tele Santana in 1982, the hypothesis goes, has reduced them to sacrificing the poetic for the prosaic.   Click here to read more. 7:52PM Southgate says "At the moment they're the best team in the world. It's brilliant to test ourselves against the best. "Before some of the pullouts we might not have played (Loftus-Cheek) in the first game. "We've now got to dream of what's possible, not think about what might happen if we lose. Collectively that might take them above the level they're at now.  "To have success next summer we've got to beat these probably." 7:50PM Southgate's new assistant manager Credit: REUTERS  Have you ever seen Millwall look as glamorous as this? Credit: REUTERS   7:48PM Do you remember Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? A great England international of a forgotten time:   7:44PM Jason Burt: We should applaud Southgate for courage of his convictions I loved this piece from last night by Jason Burt on Southgate's strong-minded opinions reflecting a real attitude for change. Here's the first bit: If he is fit then Nathaniel Chalobah will be in the England squad for the World Cup. The 22-year-old is recovering from fracturing a kneecap and the hope is that he will be back playing for Watford by the end of March, if not before. If that happens then Gareth Southgate can be expected to take Chalobah as part of his 23-man squad, even though the midfielder will have played only a handful of Premier League matches and is yet to be capped by the senior England team. Why? Because he fits the vision. He fits the plan. He fits the way England will play. Because, in Southgate, England have, in fact, the boldest manager in recent times, the boldest, since Terry Venables back in the mid-90s. Venables was such a strong influence on Southgate, who played under him at Euro 96, and the way he wants his England to operate. 7:42PM Neymar just hanging out Credit: GETTY IMAGES   7:33PM Lee Dixon is scared of Brazil... from the warm-up "If that warm-up is anything to go by... we're in trouble. It was awesome watching them."   7:31PM All the goalkeepers Credit: REUTERS That young chap on the right is Angus Gunn, who is currently playing very well for Norwich in the Championship. He hasn't played a single Premier League game for Man City, who own him, but that hasn't put Gareth Southgate off bringing him into the squad. I think it's great that Southgate actually treats the Under-21s as a stepping stone and doesn't just pick whoever happens to be famous at the time. 7:20PM Brazil starting lineup I can't find a teamsheet anywhere for some reason but this is what I believe to be the starting XI from various bits of online research. Harry Maguire is going to be defending against Coutinho, Jesus and Neymar this evening. It'll be fun to watch. Brazil Alisson; Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo, Paulinho, Casemiro, Augusto, Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar 7:06PM Hello! Greetings everyone and welcome to our liveblog for tonight's international exhibition, as it would be referred to in ISS 98. That's a 90s video game reference for you there. In more relevant news, here is the England team. England Here's the #ThreeLions teamsheet for tonight's game against Brazil! �� pic.twitter.com/cFFlAp7GIB— England (@England) November 14, 2017 Joe Hart keeps his place in goal, while Joe Gomez - who was excellent against Germany - starts this time in place of the injured Phil Jones. Loftus-Cheek gets another chance to make that number 10 shirt adjust to his frame and does so in behind a front two of Vardy and Rashford, which suggests this is a team built for the counter-attack. That is fast. Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers Hart; Gomez, Maguire, Stones; Bertrand, Livermore, Dier, Walker, Loftus-Cheek; Vardy, Rashford. Credit: PA Gareth Southgate was bold and loud with his thoughts on how highly England players should regard national (football) duty, taking aim at those who pull out of friendlies like this one at short notice: “Coutinho hasn’t played for a few weeks for Liverpool, but he is there for Brazil. I imagine part of that is because he is thinking ‘if I’m not there and I’m not playing and someone else goes in, do I get the shirt back?’ “Maybe we haven’t had that, but I think moving forward we will have and I think that will affect people’s approach, definitely.”

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