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Gareth Southgate explains Jordan Henderson action being taken after boos in Australia win

Gareth Southgate explains Jordan Henderson action being taken after boos in Australia win

He explained what Henderson action was being taken.

Gareth Southgate explained that England were reviewing all of Jordan Henderson’s matches in Saudi Arabia after the Al Ettifaq midfielder was booed by his own supporters on Friday night.

Ollie Watkins tapped in the only goal of the game as a much-changed England side laboured to a 1-0 victory over Australia at Wembley.

Watkins, who was making his first appearance since scoring against the Ivory Coast in March 2022, came up with a vital touch to convert Jack Grealish’s cross on 57 minutes.

Elsewhere, Henderson, who was captain for the friendly, was booed by sections of the Wembley crowd when replaced by Kalvin Phillips in the 62nd minute.

The midfielder has faced criticism since making the contentious decision to leave Liverpool and move to the Saudi Pro League over the summer.

Southgate issued a staunch defence of the 33-year-old after the game and added the England backroom staff were reviewing all of the player’s matches at Al Ettifaq.

Southgate said: "I really don't understand it. He's a player, 79 caps for England, his commitment and what he's delivered for England is exceptional.

"His role on and off the pitch is phenomenally important. He's taken the likes of Bellingham under his wing. He's a role model for the group in every part of his work.

"Some people decided to boo. I really don't understand what that's for. We play Italy here on Tuesday, come on let's get behind this team. I know we weren't at our best tonight, but we made a lot of changes.

"This is a team that are delivering a lot and they all deserve every bit of support.

"We're reviewing all of the [Henderson] games. I think he knitted and held things together quite a bit today. You need leadership, we didn't have a lot of caps on the field so Hendo's influence before the game, during the game was hugely important and he helped other players get through the game."

On Henderson’s call up for September's fixtures, Southgate said "I don't really know why a player would receive an adverse reaction because of where he plays."

Moreover, asked if the player's recent promotion of Saudi Arabia's 2034 World Cup bid might have had an impact on the criticism, Southgate said: "What has that got to do with supporting a guy wearing an England shirt?"

When it was put to Southgate that some England fans may not agree with Henderson's principles, the manager said: "Well, yeah, I don't really know where we are heading with everything. I'm hugely impressed with the impeccable values and decisions that everybody in our country is making then.

"Yeah, clearly, I don't understand it. I know what's created it and I know why it has happened, but it defies logic to me that you would give a player who is playing and putting his heart and soul into playing for England... why boo him?

"How is that going to help him or help the team?”

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Featured Image Credit: Channel 4/England

Topics: Football, England, Jordan Henderson, Gareth Southgate