England coach Silverwood wants to stay after Ashes debacle, backs Root to continue as captain

By Sports Desk January 17, 2022

Chris Silverwood says he wants to continue as England coach despite the side's humiliating 4-0 Ashes loss in Australia, and has also backed Joe Root to continue as captain of his country.

England ended the series with yet another batting collapse, losing all 10 wickets for the addition of just 56 more runs after a promising start to their second innings in Hobart's fifth Test, and the side have now won just one of their last 14 Tests, a run stretching back to last February. 

Speaking one day after England's dire 146-run defeat, Silverwood discussed the futures of both himself and his captain.

While admitting his job is "on the line" after England were beaten Down Under for the third consecutive Ashes series, Silverwood insisted he "definitely" wants to carry on in the role. 

"I am honoured to be head coach of England, but I am an England cricket fan as well," Silverwood said.

"I am desperate to see England do well and am desperate to [be an] influence to make us better."

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  • David James backs 'exceptional' England goalkeeper Pickford David James backs 'exceptional' England goalkeeper Pickford

    Two of England's best goalkeepers will face off as Arsenal host Everton on the last day of the Premier League season, and David James believes Jordan Pickford should remain number one for the Three Lions, for now.

    Gunners shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale is one of Pickford's chief challengers for the England jersey, though the two have had mixed fortunes as the league season comes to a close on Sunday.

    Pickford has been in tremendous form for Everton as they steered clear of relegation, confirming their top-flight status for another year with a dramatic 3-2 comeback against Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Thursday.

    Ramsdale and Arsenal look to have missed out on a Champions League place after recent defeats to Tottenham and Newcastle United, with Mikel Arteta's side needing to beat Everton while hoping Norwich get the better of Spurs on the final day.

    Speaking to Stats Perform, former Liverpool and England goalkeeper James said Ramsdale's form this season will not have gone unnoticed, but described Pickford as "exceptional" whenever he has appeared for the national team.

    "I don't think Ramsdale's club form will be ignored," James said. "The way you get into England is by the good club form. However, Gareth Southgate is his England manager, not his club manager.

    "It would be wonderful, I'm sure, for an international manager to look at his squad and everyone's playing at the best of their abilities at the top of the league, [but] that's never going to be the reality.

    "I think what Jordan Pickford's done for England has been exceptional. Absolutely exceptional. It's not a case of not letting us down, he has been exceptional."

    James says Ramsdale would have to seize any chance that comes his way with England.

    "If he's to perform at the level that he's been performing for Arsenal for England, then Gareth has a question of 'actually now do I look at the overall picture?'," James said.

    Only five goalkeepers have made more saves than Pickford's 117 in the Premier League this season, though he is 15th for save percentage (66.67), while Ramsdale is ninth (70.08).

    In terms of expected goals on target (xGOT), Pickford has actually let in 0.9 more than expected, while Ramsdale has prevented 0.6 in that respect, though this is quite a way down from where it was heading into the last international break in late March (3.3).

    James expects Pickford to remain England's number one ahead of the World Cup later this year, barring a dip in form that could prompt a change of heart from Southgate.

    "If he looks at the quality of the goalkeeper and how much they positively influence England's performances, he may see a time to change," James said. "But at the moment, Jordan Pickford has been exceptional and therefore he's England's number one."

  • Cafu: If Brazil don't win the World Cup it will be a failure Cafu: If Brazil don't win the World Cup it will be a failure

    Brazil legend Cafu believes anything other than winning the World Cup in Qatar will be deemed as a failure for the Selecao.

    Tite's side breezed through World Cup qualifying as they topped the South American group after going unbeaten through their 17 games, winning 14 and drawing three.

    The world's number one ranked side and five-time winners have been labelled by many as favourites to lift the World Cup come December.

    Brazil, who boast the likes of Liverpool pair Alisson and Fabinho, along with Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Marquinhos, have been drawn into a group with Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon.

    However, the Selecao have not appeared in a World Cup final since 2002, when they won the competition, with the last four editions seeing European teams triumph.

    Cafu – the only man to appear in three consecutive finals, winning in 1994, losing in 1998 and captaining in the 2002 win – believes it is time for Brazil to claim a sixth World Cup.

    "Every competition that Brazil steps into there is the pressure to win it. They are a huge country in the world with a huge history," Cafu told BBC Sport.

    "The pressure to win is always there in any game, not just the World Cup. We have a very good generation of Brazilian footballers coming through so the expectation is there as usual.

    "It is about time we won, it is clear if we don't win the World Cup it will be a failure. We all have the expectations and hopes that we can do it."

    Gareth Southgate's England must negotiate a group with Iran, the United States and one of either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine.

    England are on the opposite side of the draw to Brazil, meaning the two sides cannot meet before the semi-final stage.

    Cafu, who is his country's most-capped player after making 142 appearances, suggested a meeting between the two nations would be a dream for Brazilian fans.

    "For the Brazilian people it would be considered a dream final because of the historical weight of the two nations in football," he said.

    "This match would carry huge emotion and it would be beautiful not only for the fans of England but also for football in general."

  • Cafu labels Alexander-Arnold 'one of the best right-backs in the world' as Brazil great hails England Cafu labels Alexander-Arnold 'one of the best right-backs in the world' as Brazil great hails England

    Brazil great Cafu feels he and "one of the best right-backs in the world" Trent-Alexander Arnold share many similarities, while he heaped praise on England's transformation under Gareth Southgate. 

    Alexander-Arnold remains in contention for an unprecedented quadruple with Liverpool, who have already won the EFL Cup and FA Cup and face Real Madrid in the Champions League final next Saturday. 

    Jurgen Klopp's side also head into the final day of the Premier League season just a point behind leaders Manchester City, requiring a win against Wolves and hoping Pep Guardiola's side falter against Aston Villa. 

    Alexander-Arnold has again been one of Liverpool's stars this campaign, with his 120 chances created far ahead of any other defender in Europe's top five leagues – David Raum in second has 88. 

    The England international also leads the way for assists in the same group this term, with his 18 putting him three clear of Liverpool team-mate Andy Robertson. 

    Former right-back Cafu, who played most of his career in Serie A with Roma and Milan, was quick to hail the progress Alexander-Arnold has made. 

    "I have been following Alexander-Arnold and the campaign he has had at Liverpool," he told BBC Sport. "His progress over the last few years has been amazing and for sure is one of the best right-backs in the world. 

    "He is young, strong and has developed hugely considering his age. He also has a lot of experience and I see a lot of similarities between him and myself. 

    "We both had a will and commitment to attack, to go forward and have the boldness to shoot and to put the crosses in. The diagonal movements he makes on the pitch are also similar to what I was making as a player." 

    Alexander-Arnold will hope to carry his club form into international duty in the Nations League with England before aiming for World Cup glory in Qatar in November and December. 

    Southgate's side made their first major final since 1966 by reaching the Euro 2020 showpiece and Cafu credited the changes the England boss has overseen. 

    "I have been following England and the evolution of their national team has been very good under Gareth Southgate," he added. "Along with Portugal, I consider England as the team to have evolved most on the pitch in the last few years. 

    "They have a very strong squad with individual players who are performing at a very high level for their clubs. This helps the national team and the progress they have shown with their players means they have a good chance to go far in the [World Cup]. 

    "If the England players listen to their coach as a group, then they have a better chance of winning." 

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