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Gareth Southgate causes controversy over his comments on Phil Foden

Gareth Southgate causes controversy over his comments on Phil Foden having been left unsure whether the player can shine in midfield.

The England manager Gareth Southgate questioned Foden’s eagerness to play in central midfield after the Manchester City man said in March it was a position he wanted “to move into over the next few years” and has “always seen myself playing there”.

Foden, 23, is usually seen in a wide role under Man City boss Pep Guardiola, which is having an influence on Southgate’s gameplan.

“He doesn’t [play centrally] for his club, so presumably there’s a reason for that,” Southgate said.

“You’d have to speak with Pep [Guardiola], the best coach in the world, who plays him from wide. He’s always got the freedom to drift if we play him wide and that’s important. It depends on the level of the game, really.”

But the England midfield were too cautious in their 1-1 draw against Ukraine, leading to Southgate adding that there is increased responsibility with playing centrally.

He goes on to say: “Obviously in the middle of the park everybody wants to talk about them with the ball, but there’s a lot of detail without the ball.

“In games like at the weekend [against Ukraine], you’re playing opponents that are so clever with their passing and movement that you’ve really got to be spot on with pressing angles, your responsibilities.

“If you don’t, then you don’t have the flow of the game, you don’t get the flow of the game.”

As mentioned, Gareth Southgate causes controversy over his comments on Phil Foden, this is what fans are saying…

@SportsAndMovies: Maguire doesn’t play Centre Back for his club but Southgate plays him there 🤦🏼‍♂️

@AndrewWolf88: That Southgate and Foden stuff is pretty telling. Foden has regularly discussed his aspirations to play in midfield yet Southgate is questioning those aspirations. Would he do that to others? It’s clear that Southgate doesn’t trust Foden since the Iceland incident.

@Solid_S_Boss: Gareth Southgate: One of our best players doesn’t play in a certain position for his club so I don’t play him. Also Southgate: Maguire doesn’t play at all for his club so I’m play him. Absolute idiot that man is.

@DoodWBA: 🤣 🤣 GET THIS ABSOLUTE CLOWN GONE!!!! He starts Maguire on what form? How can you be picked for England and not even playing for you club. Oh and don’t get me started on Hendo starting aswell. Ridiculous! Your time is up now Gareth. Please leave thank you #eng

@Fordy1EFC: Madison doesn’t play off the left for spurs but you played him there on Saturday. Literally contradicting himself the tool

@sarah_WBAx: One of our best young players and he speaks about him like this when you’ve got Phillips etc who don’t even get a minute on the pitch for their clubs, sooner Southgate fucks off the better 🤢

@Rossco810106: That’s kind of the point though Gareth – it was Ukraine not Spain. England have the players ru dominate possession and create chances, the reason for the draw was there was a lack of creativity not because we didn’t get the ‘pressing angles’ correct

@CraigCo67243127: Sooner gone the better. Most attacking players we have probably ever had. And a sensible minded manager!!! Good FA yes man

@Woof2729: This highlights the problem with Southgate, he’s too concerned with average opponents. He plays too cautiously. Pep doesn’t play Foden in the middle because he has totally different players and a different mindset. Also Maguire doesn’t play for his club…..

@NickC_1990: Well start him wide then? Put Maddison in a midfield 3 with Bellingham and Rice. We don’t need two “holding midfielders”. It just shows we’re more scared to lose, it’s embarrassing.

@9_Hendo: I mean Maguire doesnt play full stop so he can’t really use that excuse. Just come out and say you want more defensive stability in the middle of the park and be honest with it. Foden doesn’t play there for City cos De Bruyne is one of the worlds best… he’s playing there now.

@THETHEFOOTBALL1: So why play Maddison left wing and not centrally where he has been brilliant this season

@TommCullen: Here’s an idea Gareth put Madders central like he plays for his club and Foden out wide 👍

@c4m_183: This quote right here shows how clueless Southgate is as a manager. Foden is such a creative player. So rules apply to him but don’t for players like Maguire or Phillips. Southgate has to go

@NCFC_Adam: This is fucking shocking. Maguire doesn’t even play for his club yet still gets picked. Henderson is past it and still gets picked. Kalvin Phillips played a total of 291 minutes in the league last season and only 13 so far this season and still makes the squad. Fraud.

@Jimmy__MUFC: He’s a walking contradiction, plays others who don’t play for their clubs at all and then even plays the ones he picks out of position

@HampshireEagle_: Didn’t Foden play through the middle in the CL Final and have a quality game? Seems quite that pragmatic quote from Southgate in honest I know it’s his job to comment on players but quotes on Henderson, Walker and now Foden have been quite strange this week. Doesn’t add up.

@ne11lm: Might as well come out and say he doesn’t know what to do with Foden because he has to much talent

@LiamDaviesJourn: Would be so Pep to start Foden in the middle on Saturday now.

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