Stuart Pearce called for Phil Foden to be hauled off just 29 minutes into England’s nervy 1-0 win over Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener on Sunday.

Jude Bellingham’s thumping header put England ahead after just 13 minutes, with Gareth Southgate’s side controlling the early tempo of the Group C clash in Gelsenkirchen.

However, despite the team’s positive start, Pearce felt that Foden’s lack of creativity on the left flank should have prompted an immediate switch.

Speaking on talkSPORT during the game, the former England full-back said: ‘We talked about early substitutions leading into the game, I tell you what I’d do, I’d bring Eberechi Eze on now to attack instead of Foden.

‘You ask for my opinion and I’ll give you my solution after 29 minutes! What I’m seeing at the moment is an England team who are attacking solely down the right-hand side.

‘There’s no attack down the left-hand side whatsoever – Kieran Trippier is obviously being a right-footed left-back and isn’t offering anything in the advanced areas.

‘Foden is cutting in and being like a utility player almost.’

He continued: ‘I’d like to see us having a joint attack on either side and the way that Serbia have set up is like they’re lying down and saying “please don’t hurt us too much”.

‘We’ve only got Bukayo Saka who has the ability to go and attack someone as an out-and-out winger – I’d like to see another one on this side.’

Despite holding on for three points, the manner of England’s second-half display and Foden’s performance, in particular, dominated the post-match conversation.

Speaking on BBC, Cesc Fabregas challenged the Manchester City attacker, who enjoyed a sparkling season in the Premier League, to impose himself further in and England shirt.

‘The way we see Jude [Bellingham] getting the ball, imposing himself, he [Foden] owes us this class. He needs to do that himself,’ the Spaniard said. 

‘A player of this class, this level and this talent doesn’t even need to be told by the coach what to do.

‘He needs to want it more than the rest and today it showed that Jude is a little bit above him in this regard and he needs to get this personality back.’

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2024-06-17T07:22:56Z dg43tfdfdgfd