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Gareth Southgate explains why Jack Grealish was substituted on and then taken off

Gareth Southgate explains why Jack Grealish was substituted on and then taken off, leaving many questioning his thinking behind it.

The manager said the decision to take off the Aston Villa star against Denmark shortly after bringing him on was tactical.

England were searching for a winner when he was introduced with 21 minutes of normal time remaining, however he was taken off in extra-time when Harry Kane scored what proved to be the winner.


Gareth Southgate explains why Jack Grealish was substituted on and then taken off

Grealish drew fouls like he usually does and looked a major threat on the left wing, though at the time, talkSPORT pundit and former England left-back Stuart Pearce saw sense in the decision to replace the replacement.

He explained: “Jack’s probably the least defensive minded of players there. You can’t take Kalvin Phillips off.”

Southgate praised Grealish’s impact when he spoke to talkSPORT after the historic game, which saw England reach a first major final since 1966.

“Jack had a brilliant influence on the game,” he said.

“Denmark threw four forwards forward and we needed five [defenders] back.

“Raheem [Sterling] was such a threat that it was either going to be Phil [Foden] or Jack to get the solidity without the ball.

“We still needed to get that pressure up the pitch. We sank a little bit too deep for five minutes or so.

“We just needed to keep the ball and it took us five minutes to work that out. When we started to keep it, we were running the clock down with a lot less anxiety.”

Grealish did not appear to be too affected by getting the hook, though.

As Southgate tried to explain the decision to him afterwards, the Independent reports that Grealish responded: “Gaffer, it doesn’t matter. I’m not bothered. We’ve got to the final!”

Ian Wright believes the decision showed a different side to the Three Lions boss.

He said: “I feel for Jack Grealish you can see it’s a tournament that he really wants to be a part of, Every time he gets going it doesn’t quite happen for him. To be taken off like that is of course, you subbed a sub its not nice.

“But it is about the squad and being a part of it. Sunday Jack might come on and make a massive difference. He might set up the winning goal.”

Gary Neville, meanwhile, feels that Grealish would have been ’embarrassed’ by the decision.

Speaking to ITV Sport, he, along with Wright and fellow pundit Roy Keane, believes Southgate showed he could be ‘nasty’ if the situation demanded it.

Neville said: “There’s been moments all the way through this tournament where Gareth has been questioned and been battered if it’d gone wrong.

“He’s done things his way all the way through the tournament, there’s no ego in the dressing room. He’ll make the decisions that need to be made for the team to be successful and he puts the team first.

“Jack tonight has suffered and look it’s an embarrassing moment for him in the sense of being a subbed sub. Nobody likes it but he will recognise it was the right thing to do for the team.”

Fans reacted as Gareth Southgate explains why Jack Grealish was substituted on and then taken off…

@MummySezza: People he was taken off so he could play in the final !!!!!!!! Gareth didn’t want to risk the Danes injuring him. We need Jack big time against the Italians. Remember it’s a team game and together as a team !!!! they have managed something great 🙌👏🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🦁🦁🦁 so proud of the boys 👏

@benavfc16: Can’t believe some people are actually moaning about this, we won the game ffs

@Son_Lyme: Didn’t dominate the game till you came on. Then dominated it. Back to not dominating it once you went off mate. We see you. We know how good you are. utv

@SmithWin2020: He’ll get all the plaudits as a tactical genius but denmark hadnt done a thing for an hour and then he changes system to allow them a chance. Bizarre call. As an irish villa fan trying my best to see the positives in England winning this thing he’s making it very difficult

@CllrTimHodgson: You did great Jack, and shouldn’t have been taken off!

@I_believe_inGod: shocking the way GS took you off after putting you on for like 35 mins, as a England fan I so going off GS, like Southgate saying he don’t care about our feeling let me say not enjoying the England games put the best side out and lets do it style not the boring way we are.

@suffolkpanthers: He’s just got us to the final of a major tournament for the first time in 55 years . You do realise that right ??!!

@Leebrown040266: Jack keep the faith your time will come . Maybe not under Southgate but your talent is unquestionably it’s set in stone for you

@FreedomGymKit: Can’t believe he bought you off.

@RPayton97: It wasn’t due to his performance it was tactical, go 5 at the back and play them at there own game and get them in counter attack like we did last 10mins

@Spurs4Life77: Divs on saying he didn’t deserve to be taken off and saying England and Southgate don’t deserve him 😂😂😂 the manger made a call for the whole team and it payed off, yes he did deserve to stay on but there’s no I in TEAM

@Cypher79C: The whole country cheered when you came on and put energy back into the team can’t wait to see you in claret and blue next season

@Longclaw9: Denmark had 10 men on the pitch when he reverted to all out defending, ffs.

@VillaJaake: Yep – guaranteed to secure the win. Correct decision.

@VillansOpinions: Gareth doesn’t deserve you whatsoever

@andy90wfc: Come onnnn, it’s a big squad and a very good squad. Sancho didn’t even get on tonight… Foden got some game time for the first time in a while. There’s no I in Team and everyone is playing a part. It’s a cliche but – IN IT TOGETHER

@murfhee: That still makes no sense, knowing they (Denmark) throw everything forward, you actually encourage them to play how they want to play, and put your own team under unnecessary pressure? 🤷🏻‍♂️

@JamesLIoyd: We passed it around for 15 minutes and were under no pressure whatsoever. There is literally no way you can say it was the incorrect decision

@BradShort: you took one for the team tonight but you we always looking for the forward pass! We wouldn’t be here without your performance in the Germany game so lets keep on rolling!!

@Joey2Arms: It looked like we saw the game out despite that substitution. Nowt to do with Jack. Any sub like that (attacker for defender) invites pressure…and it did.

@matt14UK: Well played Jack chin up didn’t deserve to be subbed. UTFV

@iamcoache: You’re a legend @JackGrealish. Huge congratulations. A 36 minute cameo doesn’t do you justice… but the fact you accepted it happily shows how important you are to the squad.

@PJRAvfc: Top Professional and shows how much of a man you’ve become to be able to brush that off tonight and understand it was for the greater good. When we needed a winner who did he bring? The starboy himself

@Jaydub77: So much respect for you Jack. It’s a squad game now, especially with all the subs we can make now and especially more if the game goes into extra time. The team isn’t successful at all without your much needed contribution. Any proper England fan knows how vital you’ve been

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