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Southgate explains controversial decision to leave Foden on bench despite England struggles against USMNT at World Cup

8:20 pm AEDT 26/11/22
Phil Foden England World Cup
Gareth Southgate has explained his reasons for not bringing on Phil Foden in England's 0-0 draw against the USA at the World Cup.
  • England held to 0-0 draw by USA
  • Foden was unused substitute
  • Man City star yet to start at Qatar

WHAT HAPPENED? Southgate did not call upon the forward despite his side not fashioning many chances in what was a disappointing 0-0 draw against the USMNT. Instead, the England manager opted to bring on Jordan Henderson in midfield, and Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford out wide. Despite the changes, the Three Lions could not break the deadlock.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to ITV shortly after the game, the England boss revealed why Foden did not get his chance. "We thought it was the right thing to do, to keep the team from the start, and then the wide players we went with Jack [Grealish] and Marcus [Rashford] ahead of Phil [Foden] on the changes. We thought Jack would keep the ball well for us and get us up the pitch and Marcus' speed, we thought would also be a threat coming into that last part of the game."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Southgate's reluctance to turn to Foden so far has led to many asking why he continues to struggle to get into the team, even when it is crying out for creativity to open things up during a game. The 22-year-old has a total of 11 goal involvements to his name this season for his club in all competitions, and he will be wanting to add to his 19 England caps in the coming weeks.

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WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? The Three Lions are next in action on Tuesday as they take on Wales at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in their final group match. Qualification for the knockout round will be secured if they win or draw against Rob Page's side.