England’s journey to the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has been one of the most remarkable feats in the countries recent history – a feat made possible by the performances of a number of players with relatively little experience on the international stage. From Jordan Pickford to Harry Maguire, England’s regular starting XI is dotted with unlikely heroes, yet few have done as much to capture the public imagination as Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier.
Prior to Russia 2018, Gareth Southgate saw something in Keiran Trippier that the majority of England fans had overlooked. “Surely it’s better to play Kyle Walker as a right sided wing-back”, they said. “Why is Southgate so desperate to include Trippier in his starting XI?” It was certainly a bold decision, and one that perhaps could have left Southgate looking a bit silly. Yet every question mark over Kieran Trippier has since been answered on the pitch.
The dynamic 27-year-old has been one of England’s stand out players over the last few weeks, providing excellent defensive cover and creating numerous chances going forward. Trippier has gained many plaudits for his superb delivery, and has even drawn comparisons to David Beckham.
“He’s had a fantastic tournament. I’m so, so happy for him I think it [recognition] is fully deserved.” said teammate Eric Dier.
“I think this season and last season but especially this season at Tottenham he has come on so much. Maybe that has been noticed as much as it should have been.”
England are set to take on a formidable Croatia side tomorrow – a side that have emerged as one of Russia 2018’s most defensively sound teams. Of the four goals that Croatia have conceded however, two of them have been from set-pieces. England have scored five goals from set pieces so far, and Trippier’s contributions from corners and free-kicks have been the source of many of these goals.
“It is not so much of a surprise but I think the level he has shown throughout this tournament has been incredible. His consistency – everyone is trying to compare him to Beckham, which is obviously fantastic for him.” Dier continued
“His delivery, aggression both offensively and defensively, I think he has been fantastic, his consistency has been incredible and I think he fully deserves it.”