Could Magpies pair solve England's left-side issues?

Kieran Tripper and Gareth Southgate embrace
[Getty Images]

Newcastle's Kieran Trippier has been operating in the left-back role for England at Euro 2024, but is his partnership down with Phil Foden working?

In short - no.

The situation is not helped by both playing out of their most usual respective club positions of right-back and central midfielder.

Since signing for the Magpies from Atletico Madrid in January 2022, Trippier has made 92 appearances for the club - but never on the left side of defence.

The 33-year-old has, in fact, only ever played at left-back once at club level.

Gareth Southgate chose to take injured Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw to Germany in the hope he would be fit by the end of the group stage, and in the meantime has put Trippier in that position. Had Chelsea's Ben Chilwell not been sidelined with injury since 2 March, he would most likely have been second choice to Shaw.

"I would not say it is any different to playing right-back," Trippier said before the tournament started. "I am not left-footed but wherever I play or don't play, I will be ready."

Anthony Gordon arrives at a stadium before an England match
[PA Media]

But while he has not made any game-changing mistakes so far, his partnership down the wing with Manchester City's Foden is yet to click.

Should Southgate want to make a change, there is an argument to try Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold instead, but he too is not a natural left-back.

Another possible alternative is to keep Trippier in place and try a different left-winger, and one option is Trippier's Newcastle team-mate Anthony Gordon.

He naturally runs at defenders and would provide the pace that England have desperately lacked so far. But to drop the Premier League's player of the year - Foden - would be a big call from the England boss.

As the debate rolls on, Trippier has urged for calmness amid the understandable frustrations of supporters.

"There is no need to panic," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "There is so much we can improve on, with and without the ball, but we have to stay calm and positive.

"Most importantly, we stay together. We know as a group of players and as individuals that we can take it up so many more levels."

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