England boss Gareth Southgate has hit out at accusations that he doesn’t trust Jack Grealish but instead did challenge the attacker to improve his all-round game. The Manchester City star has earned 20 caps for the Three Lions over the last two years but has started only eleven of those games.
Ever since Jack Grealish earned his first England cap, there have been questions as to whether Gareth Southgate trusts the now Manchester City star. That has been made glaringly obvious by the fact that while the attacker has earned 20 caps since 2020, he has made only three starts in eleven competitive games for the Three Lions. It includes the three substitute appearances in four games at Euro 2020 last summer despite Grealish’s game-changing presence.
That trend has continued and it has seen many fans and critics alike question whether Southgate trusts the attacker enough to start a game. But the England boss hit out at his critics and revealed that if he didn’t trust him, then Grealish wouldn’t be playing a game at all. However, the England boss also challenged the 26-year-old to improve his tactical game and become a more all-round player to get a consistent starting berth.
"He can do both. If we didn't trust him, we wouldn't put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference. At the start of the game, the challenge for the wide players was to attack, defend and to try and score goals - high tactical level and you've got to be spot on - and that's an area Jack can get better at,” Southgate said, reported Sky Sports.
“What he did do was carry the ball as the game opened up with a little bit more space and opportunity. The impact both he and Jarrod Bowen had was really important in those attacking areas. There is a good challenge there among those players but we've got to keep pushing them."