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Gary Neville criticises Gareth Southgate for overlooking England’s ‘best player’ Phil Foden

Gary Neville criticises Gareth Southgate for overlooking England’s ‘best player’ Phil Foden

The Manchester City star was an unused substitute against the USA

Gary Neville has criticised Gareth Southgate’s decision not to play Phil Foden against the USA, whilst labelling the Manchester City star as England’s best player.

In what was largely a disappointing encounter, England looked lethargic and lacked creativity.

In truth, Southgate’s men should consider themselves lucky to come away with a point as the USMNT wasted a few glorious chances to find the back of the net.

After the match, the Three Lions boss’ decision not to bring on the likes of Foden and Trent Alexander Arnold was slammed by fans.

Foden has looked in fine form for City prior to the World Cup but hasn’t started a single game so far in Qatar. The 22-year-old was brought on for Mason Mount in the 70th minute of England’s first match. But was unused against the USA.

Former Manchester United defender Neville has questioned Southgate’s decision not to play Foden.

He said on ITV during the half-time interval: “I know Phil Foden isn’t playing but for Phil Foden not to be playing for England is a real shame because he’s a massive talent.

“I think he’s our best player, our best talent by a mile. He should be playing in that team.”

Neville then pointed out England were playing too many passes and not getting the ball forward quickly enough.

He added: “We had far too many passes at the back, didn’t get to midfield. Their midfield three have made ours look sluggish, we spoke about (Jude) Bellingham before the game, Mount, they put a group of passes together and if you look at (Harry) Maguire on this (Weston McKennie chance), he’s really poor on this one, you’ve got to get that near post.

“Watch Maguire, he goes and marks which you can’t do that, you can’t do that. They were brighter and sharper, everything we were doing we weren’t getting anything right. We know what a talent (Christian) Pulisic is, (Jordan) Pickford is beaten here, it’s a massive wakeup call that first-half, they did that the other night and they did weaken so England will be hoping that happens here as well.”

At full-time, Neville reiterated his disappointment not to see Foden, he said: “I was disappointed not to see Foden, I know I mentioned him at half-time but for me that talent is huge, I've not seen anything like that.”

England will now have to get a positive result against Wales on Tuesday as they aim to make it through to the knockout stages.

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Alamy

Topics: Phil Foden, Gary Neville, Gareth Southgate, England, Football World Cup, Football