England’s World Cup campaign started off in the best possible way, with a rampant 6-2 victory over Iran in the opening game. This win, unsurprisingly led to many English fans’ expectations shooting through the roof.
However Friday night saw a drab, dull and defeated draw which will no doubt give a few fans ‘deja vu’ of previous Gareth Southgate performances over the years. A mix of tactical ineptitude combined with a form nepotism and favouritism has seen this extremely talented England side stagnate and fail to perform consistently to the level they are capable.
The most glaring example of nepotism in the side has been Mason Mount’s continuous involvment ahead of the generational talent that is Phil Foden. As England struggled to break down the stubborn USA defence on Friday, Foden watched on from the bench, as the game cried out for his introduction.
What does Mount actually do?
This question is one asked by many on social media after his performance, which had fans crying out for Foden.
Firstly, in 90 minutes Mason Mount only completed three line breaking actions and by comparison, The Chelsea midfielder completed four against Iran despite only being subbed on in the 71st minute.
Foden at club level under one of the greatest managers of all time – Pep Guardiola, is a star player, contributing seven goals and three assists in just 11 starts in the Premier League.
By comparison, Mount has a paltry two goals and two assists in 13 league starts, which emphasises his horrid form, begging the question as to how can Southgate justify his inclusion.
“We didn’t feel it was right for Phil in the middle because he doesn’t play there for his club.” explained Southgate.
However Foden possesses all the qualities needed to play there, making the excuse completely irrelevant.
Jonathan Maze | GWFN