Fri, 01 Dec 2023

DOHA, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- England disappointed fans in their second Group B game on Friday night when they drew 0-0 against the USA in the ongoing World Cup.

As well as extending England's winless run against the USA in World Cups to three games, the result and performance served as a reality check after their impressive 6-2 thrashing on Iran in their opening match.

The English struggled to create in midfield and attack as the Americans cut down spaces and kept tight to the man on the ball. Gareth Southgate's side certainly improved with the introduction of Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish in the second half, but despite players such as Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka being well below the level they showed last Monday, Southgate failed to introduce Manchester City's talented Phil Foden.

Foden is considered one of England's most skillful and creative players, but so far has only made a brief substitute appearance against Iran (setting up Jack Grealish for a goal) and Southgate was asked about Foden's absence on Friday.

"I was tempted to put him on, but whichever player I put on, it would have answered questions about the players who remained on the bench."

"We wanted to change the wide areas, but I didn't want to bring him (Foden) on in a wide position because he doesn't play in that position for his club," said Southgate over his decision to bring Marcos Rashford on for the closing minutes ahead of Foden.

"We love Phil, he is a super player, we could have gone with him and things could have been different, but that was the decision we made," concluded the England coach.

Some big-name former England players have called for the 22-year-old to be allowed to add to his 19 caps.

"The fact that he wasn't in the starting 11 and didn't even come off the bench is interesting," said Gary Neville, while Michael Owen commented that he was "amazed that we have used 14 players and our most talented player is on the bench." And John Terry said on the beIN TV network that he was "disappointed by some of the tactical changes. They are very negative in my viewpoint and I miss Foden."

England has all but assured their place in the last 16 despite the disappointing display, so will Southgate now bring Foden into his side for Tuesday's 'Battle of Britain' against Wales?

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