Kieran Trippier and England have started their World Cup campaign with a win, hammering Iran 6-2 in Qatar.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions absolutely battered their Iranian opposition on Monday afternoon, kicking off the group stage in emphatic fashion.
There are three Newcastle representatives in the England squad, but Trippier was the only one named in the starting lineup. That didn’t come as a surprise. Jordan Pickford always felt likely to get the nod over Nick Pope, while Callum Wilson is never going to start ahead of captain Harry Kane.
But Trippier was selected by Southgate, chosen to start at right-back over Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The 32-year-old was lively down the right, combining well with Kane and putting some wonderful balls into the box. He was incredibly unlucky not to get an assist in the first half.
However, there were some slack moments from Newcastle’s deputy skipper, and he received some criticism from BBC Sport commentator Jermaine Jenas.
Jenas criticises stray Trippier pass
England bossed the first half, and raced into a three-goal lead courtesy of Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling. However, they nearly handed Iran a route back into the game shortly before the half time whistle.
Trippier picked up possession near the halfway line in the 55th minute and looked to find Declan Rice, but got his pass completely wrong. The Toon defender’s lofted ball was intercepted, and led to a swift counterattack from Iran.
They eventually worked the ball into the box, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s volley sailed over the bar. It was a lucky escape for Trippier, who was questioned by Jenas on commentary for BBC.
“He’s [Jahanbakhsh] much better than that,” Jenas said.
I don’t know what Kieran Trippier was thinking with that pass there.”
Mixed bag from Trippier vs Iran
It was one of a few sloppy moments from Trippier. There were a few occasions when his passes failed to find a teammate.
Luckily, they didn’t cost England. Trippier wasn’t at the same level he has been for Newcastle, but that was always going to be difficult given how well he has been playing for the Magpies.
He did have a chance to get on the scoresheet in the second half, but a trademark free-kick hit the wall rather than the back of the net.
Trippier’s attention will now turn to the USA game on Friday night, where he will hope to retain his place in Southgate’s starting XI.