Stan Collymore has given his two cents on some decisions by Gareth Southgate, insisting on including Phil Foden and Kyle Walker.
England’s draw against the USA invited many to give their opinions and criticisms on Gareth Southgate and his team selection. While the starting lineup unsurprisingly remained unchanged, the non-participation of Phil Foden raised many eyebrows.
As England searched for the opening goal, Foden remained on the bench, despite being considered one of their best attacking talents. The debate around the first game revolved around the selection of Bukayo Saka ahead of the Manchester City star. But the Arsenal man proved his mettle with a brace.
However, many suggested England should start with Foden and Saka, with the former coming in place of Mason Mount. And these questions arose after their dismal performance against the USA. Similarly, there are question marks over the selection of Kieran Trippier.
The Newcastle United full-back was criticised heavily for his tactical indiscipline on the right wing when England attacked through Saka. Many have called for Trippier to be dropped in favour of Kyle Walker, who has come into this tournament at the back of a severe injury.
Speaking with Caught Offside, Liverpool icon Stan Collymore gave his two cents on Southgate’s choices and analysed the USA clash. He also suggested the England manager should consider starting with Manchester City duo Walker and Foden for the last group clash.
Collymore said, “Overall, it was a disappointing result for England. If we qualify for the next stage, Gareth should go for a central defensive three of Walker, Stones, and Maguire. One will step out, and that starts a fire and enables Rice and Bellingham to move forward and be able to start things – that didn’t happen today.”
“The full-backs didn’t get forward again because of the system, so that would be rectified with three centre-halves. For the Wales game, I would get Kyle Walker in because he needs minutes. I would take Bellingham out for Henderson for a calm head, I would swap out Raheem Sterling for Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka for Phil Foden – and perhaps Mason Mount.”
“Grealish, absolutely Phil Foden and Kyle Walker, need minutes. I think Gareth will now start to think a little bit more about playing the tried and trusted system with three centre-halves, two wing-backs, and the two holders, Rice and Bellingham.”
Whether Southgate heeds to the advice remains the question. But Collymore’s choices make complete sense. England were toothless against the USA and showed no inclination towards creating those key chances. The introduction of Walker and Foden, in particular, could change the dynamics drastically in favour of the Three Lions.