England players ratings vs Iran: Arsenal star and in-demand midfielder both get a 9 after dominant display

England got off to an excellent start in their World Cup campaign, defeating Iran by six goals to three. 

Many would have expected England to end the game top of the group, but to be fair to Iran, scoring twice against a free-flowing England side was an impressive achievement.

Fans have questioned the attacking intent from England in recent years, but that was certainly on show against Iran.

Let’s take a look at some player ratings for the England side…

Jordan Pickford – 7.5 – Pickford had little to do throughout the game, but made an excellent save from a one-on-one, tipping the ball onto the bar. The Everton number one couldn’t do much for either goal conceded.

Kieran Trippier – 7 – Was expecting more from Trippier going forward and had a few lapses of concentration at the back. Took the majority of England’s set pieces where we always looked dangerous.

Harry Maguire – 7 – A solid game at the back for England after a lack of game time at club level. Unfortunate not to score in the first half and was denied a blatant penalty.

John Stones – 7- Again, had little to do defensively but his ball-playing ability is important for England in starting attacks. Will be interesting to see Stones and Maguire’s partnership against tougher opposition.

Luke Shaw – 7.5 – An excellent assist for Jude Bellingham to open the scoring. Never looked a worry defensively and provides width for England with Raheem Sterling drifting inside.

Declan Rice – 7.5 – Protected the back four to allow Bellingham and Mount to play further forward. Usually allowed more freedom with West Ham but showed great discipline as England’s deepest midfielder.

Jude Bellingham – 9 – It’s no surprise to see Bellingham attracting interest from some of the biggest clubs in world football (as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano via his Substack column). Bellingham opened the scoring with a sensational header and was a real threat for England going forward as well as helping out defensively. To show such maturity at 19 years old and be one of the best players on the pitch at such a young age, Bellingham deserves a lot of credit.

Mason Mount – 8.5 – It was a big call for Southgate to select Mount over Phil Foden but it certainly paid off. The Chelsea midfielder floated around in advanced areas, drifting left and right to create overloads. His work-rate and technical ability shone through and it will be difficult for Southgate to drop him now.

Bukayo Saka – 9 – Saka was awarded man of the match and there won’t be many arguing this one. Saka constantly looked a threat on the right-hand side despite being targeted physically by Iran. The Arsenal winger popped up with two goals and showed excellent character to bounce back from his last tournament game with England where he missed a penalty.

Raheem Sterling  – 8 – Sterling did what he does best by getting into the box to poke home England’s third. Saka was the more involved winger for England in general play but Sterling’s pace and unpredictability always made him difficult for Iran to deal with.

Harry Kane – 8 – Kane will undoubtedly be disappointed to have not got on the scoresheet, but his unselfishness allowed him to lay on two goals in the game. His hold-up play and ability to create space for others was evident – others may get the credit for scoring goals but his presence up top allows others to play with freedom.


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