Peter Crouch: I wouldn’t change England team for France quarter-final

Peter Crouch wouldn't change a winning team, even to contain Kylian Mbappe


It’s a big decision to change formation now. You could bring Kieran Trippier in and move Walker to centre-back, then you’d have the cover of both of them down that side against Kylian Mbappe.

You obviously need a plan of how to handle a player like Mbappe. He is that good. And he could be the difference between the teams.

That’s not to disparage, Giroud or Griezmann or all the other players they have, but he can take over a game.

I just don’t like changing a winning team. I know you have to think about the opposition, but I like the shape we have and the way we’re playing.

I would say to Kyle Walker to play like a third centre-back and don’t go forward too much, but I’d keep the four we have and three in midfield.

You lose a player in there if you change and that takes away from your attacking threat, even if it makes us more solid at the back.

Our best players are going forward. With the talent we have we should back ourselves to go and win.

And we can get at their defence with our forward players. I think we’ll score so if we’re sound defensively we’ll win the game.

Jun 1996: England fans enjoy the atmosphere at a European Championship match at Wembley in London, England. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport

It *might* be coming home

This feels like a World Cup final, even though it’s only the quarters. If we win this, everyone starts beliving.

Because, let’s be honest, we’ve performed well but we haven’t played anyone that strong yet.

This is a proper World Cup match and will tell us a lot. It’s a step above Italy, Croatia, Belgium, who we’ve played at the last World Cup and Euros.


People looking at England in the past might’ve said that the first time you play a top team you’ll go out, and that’s often been true, so we have to address that.

It does feel a bit different to those tournaments this time, but we always think that, don’t we? We always get carried away. We always think, because we’ve won a few games we’re the best team in the world.

And then we play someone really good and they let us know where we are.

But I believe we do have the ability to beat France.


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