Francis Benali hits out at England boss over Bertrand treatment

Roy Hodgson close-up England

The Southampton icon asked if Roy Hodgson was 'for real' after giving the full-back just two minutes against Italy.

Southampton legend Francis Benali has hit out at Roy Hodgson on Twitter after the England boss afforded left-back Ryan Bertrand just two minutes against Italy.

The 25-year-old has been widely praised for his Southampton exploits this season, although the defender was initially overlooked repeatedly by Hodgson but eventually made it into the Three Lions’ squad after several players pulled out injured.

Even so, Kieran Gibbs started at left-back against Italy on Wednesday night, while Bertrand’s team-mate with the Saints, Nathaniel Clyne, enjoyed a starting berth at right-back.

And it wasn't until two minutes to go that Bertrand was even given a sniff against the Italians, something that very much irked former Southampton man Benali on social media:

Many Southampton fans shared Benali’s disapproval on Twitter, expressing their dismay that the likes of Danny Rose and Gibbs were even considered ahead of Bertrand considering his Premier League form.

As well as Clyne, there was better luck for another Saint in Italy, as Graziano Pelle netted for the Italians to open the scoring against England in the first half.

Still, Bertrand at least got an appearance of some kind. He’ll no doubt hope it’s the start of something…

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