Kieran Trippier has admitted that England can improve after beating Iran 6-2 on Monday.
It was an excellent start to the World Cup for Gareth Southgate’s side, with his young stars stepping up and delivering on the world stage. Jude Bellingham was outstanding, while Bukayo Saka scored twice.
England were ruthless in front of goal, but will be disappointed to concede twice. That included a last-second penalty, after VAR helped award Iran a spot-kick after a shirt pull by John Stones. Interestingly, they failed to award a more blatant penalty to England for a rugby tackle on Harry Maguire in the opening stages of the game.
But conceding twice will disappoint Southgate, and it leaves room for improvement heading into the rest of the tournament.
Trippier knows England can improve
After the final whistle, Trippier spoke to Match of the Day. He was told that Southgate was ‘disappointed’ with the end of the game before being asked if he felt the same.
“We’re on the same page, we all are,” Trippier said.
“It was a good three points of course, but there was moments in the game where we know we can improve – myself as well, when I gave the ball away a couple of times.
“We can improve as always but we’ve got to enjoy the three points and look forward to the next game.”
More to come from Trippier
It was a mixed performance from the Newcastle right-back. Given how well he has been playing in the Premier League, it’s understandable that he’s critical of how he performed in the World Cup opener.
The 32-year-old endured a few sloppy moments, with various passes going awry and failing to find a teammate. One in the first half nearly led to an Iran goal, and drew criticism from commentator Jermaine Jenas.
But it wasn’t a bad performance from Trippier. Far from it.
He was a constant threat down the right-hand side, and was unlucky not to get an assist. His corner led to Maguire hitting the bar, while he put various other dangerous crosses into the box.
But Trippier is a player with extremely high standards, and will expect to do even better in England’s next game. That is on Friday night, when the Three Lions take on USA.