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World Cup: the enigma Foden, England's luxury reservist

2022-11-28T16:21:47.975Z

Victim of coach Gareth Southgate's distrust of his creative players, Phil Foden, considered the country's greatest attacking talent, remains confined to a reservist role that makes Wales cringe before Wales-England on Tuesday (8 p.m.).



If you had told me before the tournament that Foden would only play 19 minutes in the first two games of the World Cup, I would have thought first of all of an injury

,” commented former Liverpool player Jamie. Carragher, Saturday in the

Daily Mail

.

Returned at the end of the match during the offensive demonstration against Iran (6-2), without playing a role in the last two goals of Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish, he remained on the bench against the United States (0- 0) despite the English offensive difficulties.

"

We lacked a bit of + pep + and quality in the last third and we did not manage to open up spaces to create very good chances

", analyzed Gareth Southgate after the match.

England's best technical player

," according to England's all-time top scorer, Wayne Rooney, in his column for The Times.

And yet...

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He creates chances, scores goals and gives you control (over the game).

When we have the ball, he knows how to keep it and generally makes the right choice, and when we lose it, he knows how to press

”, detailed Rooney, underlining his versatility which allows him to play in “

false N.9

”, by support from a centre-forward or on the sides.

While admitting to having been “

tempted

” to bring Foden in, Southgate explained that they had “

found that it was not a match for Phil in the axis because that is not the position he occupies in the club

”.

Obviously we love Phil and he's a great player.

We could have chosen it and maybe things would have been different, but it was our choice tonight

.

The fact that he only used three of the five possible changes raises questions, despite everything.

After seven goals and three assists in his first nine matches, in all competitions, with Manchester City, Foden has certainly had an air hole with only one achievement in eight games, including three successive ones started on the bench in the Premier League. League.

Wales, a turning point?

We could also oppose him with a still very meager record in selection with two goals in 19 selections: a double against Iceland in the League of Nations, more than two years ago.

But players like Raheem Sterling or Mason Mount, not to mention Harry Maguire, seem much more protected in the event of a drop in level.

Read alsoWorld Cup: the funny tradition of Wales which plays upside down during the official photo

Like his teammate Grealish, also doomed to be content with ends of matches, or Liverpool side Trent Alexander-Arnold, Foden does not really fit into the game plan of a Gareth Southgate who likes players hardworking and disciplined, with very little regard for the ability to create, improvise.

The match against Wales, during which England will have to definitely ensure their qualification for the round of 16, could be a turning point for the player.

If Southgate remains deaf to the vox populi who are crying out for Foden - and he has proven in the past that he knows how to be -, Qatar risks being just another missed date between England and its wonder.

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Source: lefigaro

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