Gareth Southgate says England ‘shot ourselves in the foot’ during Nations League campaign and lauds Phil Foden after two-goal showing vs Iceland
Nov. 19, 2020
England ended 2020 on a high as a 4-0 demolition of Iceland called time on international football for another calendar year.
Declan Rice and Mason Mount both scored during Wednesday’s Wembley encounter, with Phil Foden later adding a second half brace to complete the rout and give further credence to the claim England possess some of the best young players in world football.
The win – and his two goals – will have been especially sweet for Foden, who put in his finest international performance against the country which played such a key role in his Three Lions axing earlier this year.
Foden and Manchester United starlet Mason Greenwood were sent home from Iceland in September after inviting girls back to their hotel, with Gareth Southgate also dropping the pair for the October international break.
While Greenwood was still missing this month, Foden came back into contention and scored his first and second England goals on Wednesday.
“I am really pleased for him,” said Southgate of Foden. “He is such an exciting player. It was a big week for him to come back in and, of course, not easy to walk through the door when you left how you did previously.
“But for us it was done. We knew what he is capable of and it was good to get him into the game against Ireland and to get the two goals today was a glimpse for everyone of what he is capable of.”
Despite ending 2020 on a high with an impressive 4-0 win, the Nations League campaign has been somewhat mixed for the Three Lions.
Last weekend’s defeat in Belgium meant they could not qualify for the finals tournament, and they ended the season third in League A Group 2, behind winners Belgium and runners-up Denmark.
“We’ve got to learn from those experiences,” continued Southgate. “We’ve had some good performances and two of the best performances were in games we lost.
“But also we shot ourselves in the foot throughout this period. We made life difficult for ourselves off the pitch and we had some red cards on the pitch which were costly. We never had all our players available.
“When you are playing at the top level all those things can be costly.”
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