Gary Lineker and Michael Owen in agreement over ‘astonishing’ Gareth Southgate mistake

by duceditor

England laboured to a goalless draw against the Untied States on Friday in their second game at the 2022 World Cup – with many critics asking why manager Gareth Southgate failed to play the likes of Phil Foden

Gary Lineker and Michael Owen were among those to question Gareth Southgate’s substitutions during England’s goalless draw against the United States on Friday.

The Three Lions had just three shots on target at the Al Bayt Stadium and the result means they’re still not guaranteed of a place in the last 16 of the World Cup. England will progress if they avoid a heavy defeat to Wales on Tuesday thanks to their goal difference.

Southgate named an unchanged XI after England’s impressive 6-2 win against Iran on Monday, but he didn’t make a change against the Americans until the 68th minute. Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford were Southgate’s three substitutions.

“Interesting substitutions,” tweeted Lineker, while Owen wrote: “Astonishing that we’ve used 14 players so far, yet our most talented player is still sat on the bench.”

Phil Foden was left on the bench during England's goalless draw against the United States
Phil Foden was left on the bench during England’s goalless draw against the United States

Lineker later added: “Poor performance from England, but that happens at a World Cup at some stage. The big question, even with such a talented bunch, is whether the manager can change things positively with his tactics and substitutions when it’s not working.”

Owen hasn’t confirmed who he was referring to, but there’s a good chance he was talking about Phil Foden. The Manchester City star has played just 19 minutes at the World Cup so far, something Jamie Carragher has criticised in his column for The Telegraph.

Do you think Phil Foden should’ve played against the United States?

Carragher wrote: “It was baffling that he remained on the bench when the game was crying out for his creativity. If you had told me before the tournament that Foden would only feature for 19 minutes of the first two World Cup games, my initial thought would be he must be injured… He is too much of a special talent.”

Other critics have also questioned Southgate’s failure to play Foden against the United States. “Foden for [Mason] Mount please,” tweeted legendary manager Neil Warnock, while Alan Shearer added: “Foden should have come on.”

Owen may have also been referring to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who continues to be overlooked in favour of Kieran Trippier. Gary Neville believes Southgate should have played Alexander-Arnold against the US to give them more presence going forward.

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