‘Leggy’ England were ‘terrible’ vs USA as Neville questions ‘interesting’ Southgate, Foden call

England midfielder Phil Foden in the crowd after a match Credit: Alamy
England midfielder Phil Foden in the crowd after a match Credit: Alamy

Gary Neville, Ian Wright and Gary Neville have all said England were crying out for Phil Foden as they drew 0-0 against the United States.

After battering Iran 6-2 on matchday one, the Three Lions failed to score against the US, but are still in the driving seat to top their group.

At half-time of the match, former England right-back Neville said he was hoping to see manager Gareth Southgate bring on Foden.

That did not happen, with Southgate looking at Jordan Henderson, Marcus Rashford, and Jack Grealish to make an impact.

The draw was obviously a disappointing result, but it mirrors the 0-0 draw against Scotland at Euro 2020.

And as you know, England went on to top their group and reach the final.

“Tournaments are very rarely a bed of roses all the way through,” Neville said.

“I think Gareth has got unbelievable tournament experience and I think he will recognise they will get through this group.

“But it was poor. We are all disappointed. We wanted a lot more from England. A clean sheet is a positive and Harry Maguire heading those ones out in the second half and the way in which they defended.

“Sometimes our midfield didn’t click tonight. We looked tired at times, I didn’t think we connected in combinations in midfield, I thought their (USA) midfield were far better.”

Neville added that the Foden remaining on the bench “disappointed” him, and once again hailed the 22-year-old’s incredible “talent”.

“I was disappointed not to see Foden,” he added. “For me that talent is huge. I’ve not seen anything like that.

“I know we’ve got (Jude) Bellingham, (Jack) Grealish, others. Gareth prefers (Mason) Mount, he prefers (Bukayo) Saka, he prefers (Raheem) Sterling at the moment.

“Foden not to be in amongst that in the starting XI and to come off the bench was interesting.”

Neville’s ITV and Sky Sports colleague Keane was also “surprised” to see Foden not called upon by Southgate, and said it was a “terrible performance”.

He said: “We were surprised watching it. Gareth will have his reasons, he knows the players better than anybody.

“We were all watching the game fully expecting Foden to come on. The options and the subs that did come on didn’t really have an impact; I know they did well the other day.

“England did look leggy, they looked off the pace, they short of ideas. Even set-pieces never felt a goal in their locker from that. Terrible performance.”

READ LATER: England 0-0 USA: Rating the players as Maguire heads feeble Three Lions to a point

And former England striker Wright said the game was crying out for Foden, who could have made his impact against a well-structured USA side.

“It was simply because we know Manchester City has to deal with low blocks,” Wright said.

“He is somebody who is adept at finding spaces and one-two passes and getting into those areas at Man City when they cut it back.

“From our point of view, it didn’t happen, same with the Euros, we started well then we didn’t play so well against Scotland.

“When you look at Harry Kane’s interview, he doesn’t seem too fussed about it, he’s happy about the point – I am too.

“The fact is, they know what to do from here. It’s not like everybody is expecting us to beat everybody 6-2.

“America have to take a lot of credit for the way they played.”

Neville then commented more on Foden, and brought Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold – who is yet to play a minute in Qatar – into the conversation.

The Manchester United legend believes Trent’s delivery and creativity could have made the difference against the USA.

“I’m torn a little because I have huge respect for Gareth for everything and what he has achieved,” Neville added.

“But we have got a couple of talents sat on the bench in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Foden, who in respects to opening up a game, Alexander-Arnold has some of the best deliveries you will ever see from a full-back.

“I think those two not coming off the bench was disappointing in a sense you are trying to win a game. They are world-class talents.”

Neville continued: “He (Southgate) is worried about him defensively.

“I think other nations, Spain, Brazil, France, probably would have Trent Alexander-Arnold and Foden in the starting XI.

“I understand it a little bit having watched Trent Alexander-Arnold defend, but when you see a game like that when we lack creativity, when we can’t create any chances, you think those two players, should they be in there?”

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