Gary Neville admits he is ‘struggling’ to understand why Phil Foden can’t join the England team… as he suggests something happened in Gareth Southgate’s training to keep ‘generational talent’ out of the starting eleven
- Phil Foden did not play at all in England’s draw against USA on Friday night
- Gary Neville has said he is ‘struggling’ to see why Foden was not used
- Neville has wondered if something might have happened during practice
- Neville thinks Gareth Southgate should play the ‘generational talent’
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Gary Neville has suggested something happened in training to keep Phil Foden out of the England team at the World Cup.
Foden was limited to a cameo appearance from the bench in England’s opening game against Iran, and was not used at all in England’s abysmal goalless draw against the USA on Friday, despite the side’s lack of creativity during the match.
Neville thinks it’s hard to understand why Foden isn’t being used and has questioned whether a behind-the-scenes issue could play a role in Gareth Southgate’s decision-making.
Phil Foden did not come off the bench in England’s goalless draw against USA on Friday
Gary Neville wonders if something happened in training to keep Foden out of the team
“I’m struggling a bit with Foden just because I think he’s by far our best player in the country,” Neville told Sky Sports on Saturday.
“Phil Foden is a generational talent that I feel has to play, he has to be played in form and it has to work with England.
“I’ve had my career with England where Paul Scholes was sometimes mistreated. I even woke up this morning thinking about Phil Foden, thinking, “Did something happen in training? Did anything happen off the pitch that Gareth hasn’t seen what he wants to see?”
“Because Gareth answered the question after the game that Phil Foden is not a player who plays in those midfield positions, who rolls number 10 from Bellingham and Mount. Well, that means Phil Foden was England’s fifth choice last night.
“You have Saka and Sterling, and then you have Grealish and Rashford filling in, and I like all four of them, so it’s not a reflection of those four.
“But I have to say those two Nos 10, Bellingham and Mount, and those four, I do believe that Phil Foden is the star of them all. I really believe he is the most outstanding talent of them all, even though they all have brilliant talent.’
Neville thinks Foden has more talent than Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka, who both started for England on Friday
Gareth Southgate opted to use Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford for Foden
Pep Guardiola has every confidence in Foden, but Southgate seems to prefer his other options
Foden has become a key player at Manchester City in recent years, being instrumental in their last two Premier League wins.
Although he operated largely on the wings, he also played up front and in a deeper midfield role, with Pep Guardiola confident he could do it in the big games. However, he has yet to become a regular starter at international level.
Neville thinks it’s essential that Southgate start getting the best out of Foden, who he says is a ‘once in a lifetime’ player.
“Phil Foden is a great footballer, someone you only see once in your life, I believe,” continued Neville.
“He plays for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and I think he would be in the Argentinian, Brazilian, Spanish, French and German starting eleven.”