The City star remained on the bench as England labored to a point in their second group game.
Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Roy Keane have expressed their surprise Manchester City star Phil Foden did not feature in England’s goalless draw against Group B rivals USA in the World Cup.
Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate opted to keep faith with the same side that had cruised to a 6-2 win over Iran on Monday afternoon to put themselves in control of the group. Their chances of progressing were further boosted when Wales slumped to defeat against Iran earlier on Friday, meaning an England win against the States would send them through to the knockout stages.
However, the Three Lions were second best for large parts of a surprisingly low-key affair and struggled to match the energy and intensity that had seen them start their tournament in style four days earlier. There was a further surprise when Southgate opted not to introduce Foden in an attempt to unlock a well-organised States defence, preferring to give Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford a chance.
A goalless draw means England remain in control of the group and are strong favorites to progress to the knockout stages, but both Neville and Keane were surprised to see Southgate opt for Foden.
Former England full-back Neville told ITV Sport: “At times our midfield didn’t click at times, we looked tired, I didn’t think we connected in midfield combinations. I thought their midfield was much better . I was disappointed not to see Foden. I know I mentioned him at halftime, but to me that talent is huge. I haven’t seen anything like it. I know we have Bellingham, we have Grealish, we have others.
“Gareth prefers Mount, he prefers Saka, he prefers Sterling at the moment, but for me, Foden not being involved in that or coming off the bench was interesting.”
Keane agreed with his former Red Devils team-mate and went a step further by describing England’s display as “a terrible performance”.
He said: “We were surprised to see him. Gareth will have his reasons, he’s the manager, he knows the players better than anyone. But we’re all watching the game saying Foden, fully expecting Foden to come on. The options and the subs that they came on they didn’t have an impact i know they did the other day but england looked on their feet it looked like rhythm no ideas even set pieces you never felt they had a goal in the box office from that. Really, it was a terrible performance.”
England close their group stage campaign with a game against Wales on Tuesday.
Source: Man Utd legends deliver ‘surprise’ verdict on Man City star after England World Cup draw with USA