Gareth Southgate is under a lot of pressure, as fans and football legends believe that Phil Foden must start from the first minute. Foden has been great this season at Manchester City. Fans expected him to have a bigger role in the England team this year, but Southgate doesn't seem to think so.
Gareth explained why Foden did not play from the start. "We didn't feel it was right for Phil [to play] in the middle because he doesn't play there for his club," said Southgate, as quoted by eurosport.com Ian Wright, once a great soccer player, believes that Foden could "break" the USA defense with his game.
“Simply because we know Manchester City has to deal with that low block, so he’s somebody at finding space in one, two passes and getting into those areas,” Wright said on ITV.
Garry Neville's opinion
Gary Neville considers Southgate's decision 'weird', but it is the coach who makes the decisions and fans have to accept whatever they are.
“I was disappointed not to see Foden, for me that talent is huge... for Foden not to be amongst that, and not off the bench is interesting,” he said. In addition to Phil Foden, Gary Neville expected Trent Alexander-Arnold to be part of the team.
Although he is not in good form this season, he is still an important player and someone who can change the course of the game. “I’ve got huge respect for Gareth but we’ve got talents on the bench in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Phil Foden who can open up a game.
I think those two not coming off the bench was disappointing.
If we’re not confident against the USA playing him, we’ve not got that now.... I think other nations [like] France, Spain, Brazil would have Foden and Trent Alexander-Arnold starting. Those two players, should they be in there?”