WE know taking on the USA will be a different proposition to Iran.
They have players who can cause England plenty of problems on their day.
He’s been a bit unlucky at Stamford Bridge. He was signed under Maurizio Sarri — but never played for him because he was loaned straight back to Dortmund.
Then, when he moved, he had a new manager in Frank Lampard, then it was Thomas Tuchel, who he had at Dortmund.
But they never seemed to click at Chelsea — and now he’s got Graham Potter.
So he’s had four bosses, and we’ve had Covid in that time too, so he has never had a chance to settle.
I’ve got a few mates who are Chelsea fans, they were excited when he signed — and they still believe he can come good. He has the talent.
I was very impressed with the USA’s Juventus star Weston McKennie. In the draw against Wales.
He was a key man in their midfield and England will have to be on their toes.
He’s strong on the ball and also has a few tricks up his sleeve.
There is also young Yunus Musah in midfield, who really looks the part even though he does not turn 20 until next week.
We had him at Arsenal from the age of nine until he was 16, when he moved to Spain for family reasons and joined Valencia.
He is a well-travelled lad, having lived in the USA and Italy too — that helped his football education.
My assistant coach with the Arsenal Under-18s, Adam Birchall, always tells me what a good player he was in our academy — and how they were disappointed to lose him. But that’s life.
We’re delighted that our academy has turned out such a talented player and wish him all the best, though perhaps he can take it easy tonight!
The shock defeats for Argentina against Saudi Arabia and Germany to Japan have made England’s start against Iran look even better — and the fact they were right on it straight away.
Argentina and Germany were tipped as possible winners and now they are struggling just to make the last 16.
England will have no such worries if they can do the business tonight — as I believe they will.
I’m a big Lionel Messi fan. If I was down to my last £100 and you gave me the choice of spending it on watching him or Ronaldo I would take Messi, I could talk about him all day.
That’s not because I don’t rate Ronaldo, he’s brilliant.
But, for me, Messi is the ultimate footballer.
I’ve played against him and never tire of watching him.
Part of me was even disappointed to see him on the losing side, though it was an exciting result.
I hope Argentina can get through and we don’t lose Messi too early in what is probably his last World Cup.
A superstar like him should not be going home so fast.
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