Kalvin Phillips: Southgate Told Him He “Got It Wrong”

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According to former Premier League midfielder Jamie O’Hara, Gareth Southgate erred by not replacing Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips during England’s 2-1 win over Italy on Thursday night in a Euro 2024 qualifying match.

If Phillips’ selection for the England starting lineup was unexpected, the odds of him playing the entire 90 minutes at Napoli’s Stadium Diego Maradona would have been considerably longer.

After all, under Guardiola, the former Leeds star has yet to make a Premier League start. And Italy launched an all-out assault on Jordan Pickford’s goal in the second half, trying but ultimately failing to maintain their 41-game unbeaten streak in European qualifying. This lack of match sharpness was evident.

“He didn’t take off Kalvin Phillips! He was blowing!,” says a baffled O’Hara on talkSPORT. 

“The second half was shocking. Shocking! I think (Southgate) got it wrong in the second half. He’s so reactive.”  

“I was looking at Kalvin Phillips, his legs were gone. He couldn’t get tight, he couldn’t up to it. It is not his fault, but the coaching staff need to see that. And he (Southgate) didn’t see it.” 

Read More: Romano Shares Information About Jude Bellingham That An Insider Gave Him

Is Southgate the prefect manager for England

The Three Lions manager is frequently criticised for it. Will Southgate regain the upper hand when the odds are against his England team? His detractors will point to yet another troubling second-half performance against strong competition and claim that little has changed since that World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia over five years ago, Italy dominating after the break; the same troubling indicators very much visible.

The good news is that England played exceptionally well for the opening 45 minutes, starting with Declan Rice’s early goal and Harry Kane’s subsequent penalty. One that sees the legendary striker for Tottenham Hotspur surpass Wayne Rooney to become England’s all-time leading scorer with 54 goals, helping to at least partially exorcise the Qatari ghosts.

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