Manchester City defender John Stones made 70 passes in the first half whilst playing for England against Iran on Monday. That was 24 more than their opponents managed in TOTAL.
The 28-year-old was constantly moving into the opposition half whilst in possession, getting involved in build-up play as England ran out comfortable 6-2 winners in their World Cup opener.
City supporters on Twitter have been praising Stones, with many believing that his contributions should be more widely recognised:
Best ball playing CB in the world surely
— Sid 🇦🇷🇧🇷 (@Hxxlxnd9) November 21, 2022
Best England CB
— KingKun10 (@AguxroRole) November 21, 2022
He should be captain imo
— sinista6 (@Blackie6201) November 21, 2022
To be honest it’s even more amazing when the likes of Jude and the others are midfield and yet he is the calmer one with the ball.
— WC2022 @ Il Siracusano (@YakumiSarai) November 21, 2022
it’s crazy how john stones has normalised being consistent…brother is one of our best players on the pitch every game yet no one comments on it bc it’s always just a thing
— lucy 🏴 (@POVSALVAREZ) November 21, 2022
It was a dominant display from Stones, although he would have been disappointed with conceding a rather soft penalty in the dying moments of the game.
With England’s pool of centre-backs not being as strong as it once was, Stones surely deserves to be starting every match at the World Cup. The fact that he is so good on the ball should also prove invaluable as the tournament goes on with England likely to play far more challenging opponents.