Exploring ‘England Boss Gareth Southgate Offers Hope To Phil Foden After ‘Surprise’ World Cup Snub’ Gareth Southgate has offered hope and incentive to those left out of England’s opening World Cup match against Iran on Monday. Many people would have expected Phil Foden to start but he had to make do with a spot on the bench, which came as a ‘surprise’ to former Premier League defender Micah Richards.
England Boss Gareth Southgate Offers Hope To Phil Foden After ‘Surprise’ World Cup Snub
England’s wealth of attacking talent presented Southgate with a tough dilemma ahead of kick-off on Monday. Bukayo Saka and Foden have both been in superb form for Arsenal and Manchester City respectively, while Raheem Sterling has been a stellar performer for the Three Lions in the past.
Three had to be whittled down to two against Iran, however, and Foden was the one to make way with Saka starting on the right and Sterling on the left. Before the game got underway, former City full-back Richards claimed that the decision to omit Foden was a ‘surprising’ one.
Southgate also raised eyebrows by reverting to a back-four for England’s opening game in Qatar, when a back-three has been used more regularly in recent weeks.
When asked whether his decision to revert to a back four was due to how Iran is likely to set up, Southgate told the BBC: “A little bit, because you’re always looking at the opponent. We feel this is a strong team and a strong way to start.
Southgate also provided hope to those left on the bench, with Manchester City star Phil Foden perhaps the most surprising omission, by explaining: “We’ve got depth to come into the game as well, which could be key to this tournament. It’s important we start on the front foot.”