Jose Mourinho: England found it far too easy against Ukraine… but inspired Denmark will be much tougher

Jose Mourinho: England found it far too easy against Ukraine… but inspired Denmark will be much tougher

July 4, 2021

IT WAS easy against Ukraine. Too easy.

Of course, it was a good performance by England and they made it easier for themselves but, as I was expecting, it was always going to be easy.


They were always on the front foot and it could have been 5-0. They had no problems at all.

They had no injuries and had no suspensions.

Gareth Southgate wanted to play his best team regardless of the suspensions — he was proven right with his selection by not resting players.

And now they have a semi-final.

It is going to be more difficult, as Denmark are much better than Ukraine, but England are strong and playing well and are confident.

They have a feeling it is coming home — but it’s going to be a big semi-final.

Denmark are solid and they have found a different way to play without Christian Eriksen.

With Eriksen they played with four at the back and a No 10.

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But now they are playing three at the back and they have solid, good players in the best leagues with lots of experience.

They are very positive, despite what happened, and look to be emotionally strong plus controlled and with a great team spirit.

Tactically, they know what they are doing — they have found a way of playing football that is solid and effective.

I think it will be a difficult match for England even if they are playing well and are at home — they have got to play well.

The question now is, do England need to match Denmark’s system with a back three like they did against Germany? My view is no, they don’t.

Germany’s defence and the way they play with three at the back is different. But with Denmark, England don’t need to adapt and match up.

England’s back four is really solid. Luke Shaw is playing better and better and better.

Kyle Walker is having an amazing tournament and the two centre-backs in Harry Maguire and John Stones have also had an amazing Euros.

This is more than enough to control Denmark offensively.

And then you have four players to decide the creativity of the game — and this is where Southgate may have some doubts.

Walker, Maguire, Stones and Shaw are clear. Phillips and Rice are clear.

Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are clear.

And then there are two places that are open and where the options are different.

Gareth has to think about how to make the best decision.

Jadon Sancho played well last night. Phil Foden started the tournament well.

Jack Grealish looks like he is not the favourite player of Gareth but every minute he plays he does well, plus Mason Mount is coming back. There are lots of options for these two places.



Being at Wembley, England will go solid as always — but they have to try to go and win the match as soon as they can.

And they don’t need three at the back to do that.

This semi will mean a lot, of course, to England.

They were in one three years ago and it immediately gave a great feeling to the country.

But now, it is a semi at Wembley with a fantastic team and group of players.

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It is also a young squad with a great future.

In other circumstances, if things don’t go the right way, people will still be optimistic.

But this is the kind of moment that everyone wants to catch with both hands.

A final between England and either Spain or Italy would of course be an incredible day for football — and for the country.

  • Jose Mourinho was speaking to talkSPORT

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