“There is only so much the manager can do” – England Ace Phil Foden Comes To Gareth Southgate’s Aid, Claims Players Must Take Blame For Poor EURO 2024 Performances

Foden Defends Southgate England
Foden Defends Southgate England

England attacker Phil Foden has jumped to manager Gareth Southgate’s defense, claiming players should take the blame for the heavyweights’ poor showings in EURO 2024. He said he felt “sorry” for the England boss, suggesting there was nothing wrong with his tactical setup.

England Have Not Played Up To Their Potential In EURO 2024

Filled to the brim with Premier League, La Liga, and Bundesliga stars, England arguably have the best squad in EURO 2024. However, it has not come together for the Three Lions, so far, with their performance leaving a lot to be desired.

They began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Serbia, which marked their best performance in the group stage. In the following game, they drew 1-1 with Denmark before playing out a goalless draw with Slovenia in their final Group C outing. Despite failing to fire on all cylinders, England managed to top their group and land on the favorable side of the draw.

In the Round of 16, they faced Slovakia. On paper, it looked like a walk in the park for the star-studded Three Lions. But Slovakia refused to abide by the script. They led the game for 70 minutes before an injury-time overhead kick from Jude Bellingham restored parity for Southgate’s side. In added time, Harry Kane scored a header to seal a 2-1 win for England.

Phil Foden Insists Gareth Southgate Is Not Responsible For Sub-Par Display

Many have slammed England’s poor performances in EURO 2024, criticizing Southgate for failing to get the best out of his star players. Foden, who has cut a frustrated figure for EURO 2020 finalists this summer, refuted the narrative, claiming players must shoulder the blame for not delivering the goods.

Foden said (via ESPN):

The players have got to take some of the blame. There has to be some leaders to get together and find out a solution to why it is not working. There is only so much the manager can do. He sets you up in a system and tells you how to press. If it is not going like that, you have to [work it out].

I feel sorry for Gareth. In training, he has been telling us to press and be high up on the pitch and I feel like sometimes, it has to come from the players. We have to be leaders. In games, we could have got together a little bit more and worked out a solution.”

He concluded by adding:

So yes, we have spoken about it more. If it happens again in a game, we can get together and find a solution, see where it is going wrong, and adapt our press.

It will be interesting to see if England communicate better on the field when they square off against in-form Switzerland in the EURO 2024 quarter-finals on Saturday night (July 6).

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