There were myriad reasons England failed to overcome Croatia in their World Cup semi-final, though the not-entirely-unexpected loss of the midfield battle was fairly key.
By and large, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Marcelo Brozovic held the middle ground in exemplary fashion as their English counterparts – Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli – found themselves starved of footballing oxygen.
Indeed, this sardonic ‘Regista’ compilation of Henderson’s probing passes just about sums up his performance, particularly the latter half of it.
It’s basically the dreary sight of England’s steadfast captain just aimlessly lamping the ball up-field and out of play to nobody again… and again… and again…
Jordan Henderson vs Croatia WC 2018.
— 7 (@Okxcha) 12 July 2018
Not that we’re militant anti-Henderson bandwagoners – he’d had a decent tournament up to that point – but that really was shocking, especially compared to the ease and grace with which Croatia’s midfielders circulated the ball, switched play from flank to flank without looking, etc, etc.
(Original video: @kaibardal/Twitter)