‘Stockport Gazza’ Phil Foden thanks Gareth Southgate for his second chance at England as Man City star admits he could have been left out in the cold after ‘huge mistake’ smuggling girls with Mason Greenwood into the team hotel in Iceland
- England’s Phil Foden has channeled his inner Gazza with his new blonde haircut
- The Manchester City midfielder has been named PFA Young Player of the Year
- He has a similar buzz to Gazza at Euro ’96 going into this summer’s tournament
- But Foden is lucky to be involved after an incident in Iceland last September
- He is grateful that Gareth Southgate offered him a way back into the squad
- Read the latest Euro 2020 news, including fixtures, live action and results here.
Phil Foden beamed all smiles as he channeled his inner Paul Gascoigne on Tuesday, revealing a haircut and peroxide tan that had echoes of the English legend of Euro 96.
The Manchester City star – just after being named PFA Young Player of the Year – has a buzz around him similar to Gascoigne’s 25 years ago and he is desperate to be involved in Sunday’s opening game against Croatia .
His appearances in an England shirt in March certainly demand his inclusion.
Phil Foden spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of England’s first game of Euro 2020
Foden (right) was all smiles as he channeled his inner Paul Gascoigne (left) on Tuesday
Is it time to call it the ‘Stockport Gazza’?
“He’s a great player,” Foden noted. “So I wouldn’t mind that at all!”
But amid the laughter and the jokes, on the eve of the tournament, Foden was eager to make a point about his luck being included at all.
After all, he knows that after the events in Iceland last September, this story could have ended very differently.
Manchester United striker Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home from Reykjavik after breaking strict coronavirus protocols to sneak two local women into the team hotel.
Managers with a disposition other than Southgate could have had that against the 21-year-old, but that was never the case with the current head coach.
Southgate were determined to help Foden learn from the experience, and it’s something the midfielder is grateful for.
Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home by Gareth Southgate (left) after inviting Lara Clausen and Nadia Sif Lindal Gunnarsdottir (right) to the team hotel in Iceland in September.
“I made a huge mistake,” said Foden. “But Gareth said if I keep doing well and keep performing, I should get another chance.
“I had to work hard for it, but not many managers are willing to give you another chance, so I have to say a big thank you to Gareth for giving me another chance.
‘Gert is great. He talks to everyone. He lets you know how he feels about you and where you can improve.
“I’ve had a few conversations with him. He always puts his arm around players, that’s important.’
Foden looked sharp in a six-on-six training session at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday, which took place after England beat Romania 1-0.
It featured all City and Chelsea players who had appeared in the Champions League final last week.
That defeat in Porto still gnaws at Foden, feeling that an opportunity was missed. But the best way to channel that disappointment is to help England make history and do a step better than Gazza and Co did in 1996.
Southgate wanted to help Foden learn from the experience and the youngster is now grateful
Foden played when City were defeated by Chelsea in the Champions League final last month maand
“I think the best way to forget what happened is to play football,” Foden said.
“So when I got back on the training field with the boys, I forgot about it. I’m now focusing on England and what’s going on here.
“The quality of the team is very high. We have a lot of young players, but they can play at the highest level and we have seen that this year.
“Of course we have experience like Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane in the team and that’s important,” he added.
“I think we have a good balance in this squad and we look very strong heading into this tournament, so why not?
“We think we can win it. I don’t feel any pressure. I’m excited. It’s my first time at a major tournament with England, so I’m excited to see what happens. Let’s see what the future holds.’