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Stones out of England U21s' European Championships openers

by | 17/06/2015  Comments (9)  jump
Updated John Stones has been forced to sit out of England's opening two games of the Under-21 European Championship after suffering a suspected concussion during training this week.

His injury is described by the Football Association as "not serious" but the defender will not be risked for the Group B fixture against Portugal after he clashed heads with a teammate in a practice match and will likely miss the second match against Sweden as well.

Stones, already a full international and first-choice centre half for Everton, was expected to be in Gareth Southgate's starting XI tomorrow but missed training today as a precaution.  

Reader Comments (9)

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Jim Bennings
2 Posted 17/06/2015 at 20:31:21
A minor injury but exactly why we at Everton we need squad reinforcements – especially in defence.

Sam Hoare
3 Posted 17/06/2015 at 20:34:56
I agree, Jim. Surely there will be at least one if not 2 CBs coming in pretty soon.

I wonder if we made an offer to Richards. Would have seemed a sensible move for a versatile and athletic player with lots of experience for a 26 year old.

Scott Dann would still be a good one for me. A proper old fashioned centre half who will win almost everything in the air and stop all this conceding from diagonal balls nonsense.

Guy Hastings
4 Posted 17/06/2015 at 21:54:18
Neither Dann nor Richards would have taken bench-warming.
Tom Cuffe
5 Posted 17/06/2015 at 21:49:39
Ah, Sam... but can they pass the ball sideways?

On a serious note, they would be two cracking signings, and certainly keep competition healthy for a places in the team.

Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 17/06/2015 at 22:42:44
We should spend our money on Shawcross, never mind bench-warmers – shake them all up and play the best pair.

And we have two deputies in Browning and Galloway who can come in when needed.

Harold Matthews
7 Posted 17/06/2015 at 22:01:12
Benteke and others showed that our centre backs are not exactly the best in the business, especially when high balls are crossed into the box and our keeper waits to see what happens.

Bringing in good players but still sticking with regulars who took us to 11th spot is not something Mourhino, Keoman or Van Gaal would do and I hope Martinez goes the same route because, right now, weÂ’re just not good enough. The first half of the recent Spurs game was actually quite embarrassing.

As for Stones and Jags. Well, theyÂ’re two of my favourite players and IÂ’d find it hard to drop either of them. LetÂ’s hope they keep things organised back there.

Ray Roche
9 Posted 18/06/2015 at 13:30:22
Harold: "our centre backs are not exactly the best in the business, especially when high balls are crossed into the box "

Exactly, and that is why more attention should be paid to preventing crosses from deep or the bye-line getting into the dangerous areas. Without Pienaar or someone covering that position, opposing full backs have a free rein to run at an unprotected Baines, who often had two men to mark, and ping crosses at Jags and Stones. Consequently Baines took some unnecessary stick on here. Coleman was also left exposed too often for my liking. It needs looking at.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 18/06/2015 at 14:51:41
It needed looking at months ago Ray, but if you have got a keeper who rarely comes for crosses itÂ’s always going to be hard for defenders, who are constantly defending the six-yard box.
Ray Roche
11 Posted 18/06/2015 at 15:07:49
True, Tony, and if you add a manager who doesnÂ’t think itÂ’s worth defending corners, free kicks, crosses etc.,well, recipe for disaster? Yeah, I thought so too.

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