England's UEFA Nations League game against Denmark in Copenhagen on Tuesday ended in a goalless draw.
Harry Kane almost snatched a victory for England in the last seconds when he went past Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. However, his shot was cleared off the line by Mathias Jorgensen. Other than that, neither of the teams could produce any meaningful counter-attacks that could have seen either side standing on the victory podium.
England manager Gareth Southgate hoped that his boys would produce some amazing performances on the ground, especially following the off-field distraction after young duo Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home for breaking COVID-19 protocols in Iceland. Instead, Southgate's flawed strategy is now at the forefront of criticism.
Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady made his international debut for England. Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips had a quiet introduction, while Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish's long-wait to don national colours finally came to an end with 14 minutes left in the match. Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles became the fourth debutant for England on Tuesday as he was called to the field in the final minutes.
Denmark had better chances than their opponents until Kane's late effort. Before that, England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford did his job well, as he saved an attempt from Kasper Dolberg during the first half. Later, Christian Eriksen shot over the post. None of the attempts were powerful enough to upset the visitors.
England, on the other hand, was conservative. They created very little opportunities throughout the game apart from Kane's off-target header and Raheem Sterling's low shot that forced Schmeichel to initiate a smart save. All these happened before that late-minute chance Kane failed to convert.
Southgate didn't have Harry Maguire and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson on his side. But more than their absence, the biggest problem in Southgate's set-up is the lack of ambition. Their approach on the field was far from that of a team with a winning mindset.
According to BBC, this marked England's sixth goalless draw in 43 matches under Southgate's coaching. This equals Roy Hodgson's tally that he accumulated after staying 56 games in charge. Bobby Robson was the last England manager to lead the national team to more goalless draws (17).