A compilation of Phil Foden in a Manchester City shirt has become a viral hit after Gareth Southgate snubbed him in England’s World Cup clash against the USA.
England and the United States played out a lacklustre 0-0 draw on Friday evening, with the Three Lions on the verge of reaching the World Cup knockout stages in Qatar.
England manager Southgate enjoyed an emphatic start to the World Cup after the Three Lions demolished Iran 6-2 in their Group B opener on Monday.
However, Southgate came under scathing criticism over his tactical substitutions for England against the USA at the Al Bayt Stadium.
The England boss brought on Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson in the 68th and 69th minute respectively before introducing Marcus Rashford in the 78th minute.
Southgate was slammed for leaving Foden on the bench, but he insisted there was a reason why the City star remained an unused substitute for England.
Speaking after the 0-0 draw with the USA, he said: “Whichever one of our forwards we didn’t put on and we didn’t win the game, I was going to be sitting here answering the question as to why I didn’t put them on.
“We wanted to change the wide areas. We didn’t think it was a game for Phil in the middle because he doesn’t play there for his club.
“Defensively, it was a really complicated game for the midfield three to work out. It’s partly why we felt Hendo [Jordan Henderson] could help us at that moment as well as giving Jude [Bellingham] the physical rest.
“It was a game for experience in that middle area, so then it was a decision on the wide players and we thought Marcus’ speed would be important and give us something different, and we put Jack [Grealish] on just before that at a time when we weren’t getting hold of the ball and we felt he could carry it up the pitch to relieve some pressure on our middle third.
“Without [a] doubt we could have gone with Phil as he’s a super player and we love him. Maybe, things could’ve been different, but that was the choice we went with on the night.”
Foden, who came off the bench against Iran, has played as a winger and false nine at club level and has continued to excel under City manager Pep Guardiola.
One Twitter user has now hit back at Southgate’s claim that Foden wasn’t the right fit for the England midfield due to where he plays for City.
The fan’s compilation of Foden doing bits in the midfield area with elegant passes and controlling the tempo of the match has been lauded by fans.
“Criminal he’s not playing,” one fan said.
While another Twitter user wrote: “He is absolutely unbelievable. By far the best player in the country.”
Someone else posted: “People who think Foden can’t play centrally are insane. Just because he doesn’t for City (they’re stacked with elite technicians) doesn’t mean he can’t do it for England.”
And a fourth fan tweeted: “Put him anywhere on the pitch and he’ll make something happen. Not playing in the middle is b*llocks.”
England will resume their World Cup campaign on Tuesday when they take on Wales at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in their final Group B clash.
The Three Lions will ensure they finish top of Group B with a win over Wales, but England could still reach the last 16 so long as they avoid a potential 4-0 defeat on Tuesday.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Alamy
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