Jamie Carragher has warned Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, during Sky Sports’ live coverage of England’s win against Iceland, that he ‘wouldn’t start’ if Gareth Southgate persists with his current system.
The popular TV pundit also added that even if the Three Lions boss does switch from his current formation then Villa’s main man may find himself having to ‘battle’ Phil Foden for a midfield spot.
England are currently deploying a three at the back system, a two-man midfield and three up top, with Grealish on the left and many crying for Southgate to change to a 4-3-3.
When the injured duo Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford return, Carragher feels it would force Grealish out of the starting XI despite his impressive performances.
“We said before the game if England keep playing how they are playing, even though Jack Grealish was fantastic for the Belgium game, he probably wouldn’t start in the team if you are having just three attacking players,” said Carragher.
“You have Harry Kane. He needs pace around him, so for me, to get that extra midfield player in there, it possibly could be a battle between Foden and Grealish.
“Both playing part of a front three, but if one of them can play that deeper role as part of a midfield three then that could be the battle really and creative spark within the team. Then you are feeding your two quick runners off Harry Kane. Don’t forget how creative Harry Kane is as well, it’s not just about goals.”
With or without Grealish, the system needs to change if England are to get the best out of their vibrant and technically gifted attacking players.
If Southgate continues with this system then a high-quality attacking performer(s), such as Grealish, may find themselves on the bench with a defensive player taking their place.
Now if this system was working, England were winning, scoring goals for fun and winning their UEFA Nations League group then not may people could argue. But it’s not working and that in itself should be a message to the national coach.