Qatar 2022: Gareth Southgate’s Bizarre Reason Why He Didn’t Play Phil Foden vs USA

Qatar 2022: Gareth Southgate’s Bizarre Reason Why He Didn’t Play Phil Foden vs USA

  • England boss Gareth Southgate has explained his decision not to play Manchester City star, Phil Foden
  • England fans slammed Southgate for not bringing on Foden as the Three Lions were looking for a goal against the USA
  • England drew 0-0 with the Americans and were lucky not to lose after Gregg Berhalter's side missed some good chances

England manager Gareth Southgate has explained why he did not bring on Manchester City star Phil Foden when his side was looking for a goal against a stubborn USA side.

The Three Lions drew 0-0 with the Americans in a dull encounter and Southgate was heavily criticised for not playing his best players when his team needed goals.

Phil Foden, Gareth Southgate, England, USA, 2022 World Cup, Qatar, Manchester City, Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish
Southgate was heavily criticised online after failing to bring on Foden. Photos by Ryan Pierse and Jose Breton.
Source: Getty Images

England started their tournament with a bang, thrashing Iran 6-2 and were looking to seal a spot in the last 16 with a win against the Americans.

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However, the USA, were stubborn and troubled England several times in the match. Chelsea star Christian Pulisic struck the bar with a thunderous shot, while Juventus man Weston McKennie blasted a good chance over the bar.

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The 1966 World Cup winners just need a point to progress to the knockout stage in their last game against Wales.

Why Foden didn't play

Southgate decided to bring on Jordan Henderson in place of Jude Bellingham, a decision which elicited angry reactions from fans.

The England boss made just three changes during the game and had two more for the match. He said that Foden was unfamiliar with playing through the middle for Man City.

"We wanted to change the wide areas. We didn't think it was a game for Phil in the middle because he doesn't play there for his club," according to Sky Sports.

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Southgate brought Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford on instead.

"Well we thought it was the right thing to keep the team from the start and then the wide players, we went with Jack and Marcus ahead of Phil on the changes," according to the Mirror.

England will also try to avoid playing the Netherlands, who, although underwhelming, could be a handful for any team.

Southgate on fans criticism

Sports Brief earlier reported on Southgate urging England to ignore outside noise and focus on their tournament after a frustrating 0-0 draw vs. the USA.

After thrashing Iran 6-2 in their Group B opener, this was a wake-up call for England, who were being hyped as potential world champions on the evidence of their first game.

England fans at the Al Bayt Stadium made their feelings known as a vociferous blast of jeers echoed around the stands at the final whistle.