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Football

22nd Jun 2024

Disharmony growing in England camp as players slam Gareth Southgate for leaving key player at home

Zoe Hodges

They’re amazed by the decision

There is fresh unrest in the England camp as players believe Gareth Southgate made a crucial mistake not selecting Jack Grealish for the England squad.

The Three Lions boss has come under intense pressure after England scraped a 1-0 victory over Serbia in their opening game and could only manage a draw against Denmark.

Further criticism of his selections came as Luke Shaw was absent from training once again, raising questions about his potential departure from the squad.

Independent writer, Miguel Delaney, has said in a newsletter that there is ‘unrest’ in the England camp as they question Southgate’s decision not to bring Grealish to Germany.

He alleged that players were surprised when the call was announced and that feeling has only intensified as England have struggled in front of goal in their first two matches.

Earlier this month, Southgate was quizzed about Grealish. He said: “The fact is we’ve got some players who have been playing extremely well all season in the league and we just feel other players have had stronger seasons – particularly in the past six months or so. We saw some fantastic performances the other night, which underlined some of that, and in the attacking area of the pitch, we’re blessed with a lot of options and they’re all slightly different.

“Jack [Grealish] would have provided us with something different as well and they’ve been tough calls. They’re calls we’ve gone over and over and over as a group of staff to try to be fair and to try to use the right rationale. We back our decisions but we recognise we could have gone a different route. The boys are big characters, fabulous team-mates and great boys to work with.”

Though it seems likely England will qualify regardless of the result against Slovenia next Tuesday, they are hoping to come away with all three points to guarantee they finish top of the group and avoid meeting Germany in the next round.

Since England went into the tournament as favourites, it is understandable that fans and pundits are expecting better from Southgate’s side.

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Jack Grealish