Euro 2024: England Boss Gareth Southgate Jumps to the Defence of Under Fire Star Phil Foden

Euro 2024: England Boss Gareth Southgate Jumps to the Defence of Under Fire Star Phil Foden

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
June 20, 2024 at 8:13 AM
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  • England manager, Gareth Southgate, has leapt to the defence of under-fire Manchester City superstar Phil Foden
  • Foden was a 'passenger' in England's opening Euro 2024 game, leading to stern criticisms of his performance
  • Nonetheless, the 24-year-old forward is expected to retain his spot in Southgate's starting XI against Denmark

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Gareth Southgate has defended Phil Foden following his underwhelming performance in England's opening match against Serbia.

Foden failed to replicate the form that helped Manchester City secure a record fourth consecutive Premier League title last season in Sunday's game as the Three Lions laboured to a narrow win.

Phil Foden, Gareth Southgate, England, Three Lions, Denmark, performance, defence, Euro 2024.
England manager, Gareth Southgate, hugs Phil Foden after their triumph over Serbia on June 16, 2024. Photo by Michael Regan - UEFA.
Source: Getty Images

Jude Bellingham's early goal gave England the lead. However, The Guardian reports that Southgate's charges had to work hard to secure a 1-0 victory against a determined Serbian side.

Despite bagging the three points at stake, Foden's performance has come under scrutiny as he struggles to transfer his club success to the international stage.

Regardless, the 24-year-old is expected to retain his spot against Denmark on Thursday, June 20.

Southgate plans to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield and is likely to name an unchanged lineup for their second group game against Denmark.

Southgate defends under-fire Phil Foden

Speaking ahead of the match at the Deutsche Bank Park, Southgate offered a different perspective on Foden's performance, calling it "incredible."

"I thought Phil did an incredible job for the team on Sunday," Southgate said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
He continued: "You know, sometimes the bits with the ball are obvious, and they catch the eye, but the amount of ground he covered, the angles of pressing, the filling in for people who were further forward.

The 53-year-old acknowledged that Foden's performance was not captivating, but he praised him for his off-the-ball efforts, which played a crucial role in securing the Three Lions' narrow victory.

"I thought without Phil's contribution without the ball—and I know that's not the alluring bit and everybody wants to see him on the ball—I don't think we win the game.

Fabregas gives Foden a wake-up call

Sports Brief also reported that Phil Foden's struggles against Serbia prompted a wake-up call from Cesc Fabregas.

His performance became a hot topic in the media. While Micah Richards urged Gareth Southgate to maximise Foden's potential, Fabregas had a different perspective.

The two-time European champion insisted that Foden should assert himself more, similar to how Jude Bellingham does.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.