Barnes insists ‘nothing will change’ for Foden in an England shirt after sharing similar experience

Joe Williams
England star Phil Foden
Phil Foden was taken off in extra time before the penalty shootout against Switzerland.

John Barnes thinks Phil Foden will continue to have problems playing for England as they don’t play like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

The attacking midfielder struggled to get into the Three Lions’ 1-0 victory over Serbia on Sunday with most of England’s good playing coming down their right-hand side.

Many believe Foden’s best position is just behind the striker as a number ten but realistically he will have to settle for playing out on the left for England, somewhere he has also played for Man City in the past.

Barnes sympathises with the Premier League Player of the Year as he too went through a similar experience under Sir Bobby Robson when playing for England and Liverpool.

And Barnes doubts Foden will become a star of Euro 2024 for England unless the Three Lions start playing like Man City or the attacker changes position.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Barnes said: “It’s like having an out-of-body experience. I went through something very similar.

“Sir Bobby Robson used to say to me, ‘We want you to play for England the way you play for Liverpool’.

“You know what I said to him? ‘If England played the way Liverpool do, then I would’.

“It’s the same for Foden. Whether you put Foden on the left, the middle or the right, unless England are going to play like Man City, nothing will change.

“The left-back for Man City is Josko Gvardiol. He’s not a left-footer. The way Man City play suits him.

“It doesn’t matter about using him, Anthony Gordon, Cole Palmer… unless England play the way their clubs play, it doesn’t matter. You’ll never get the best out of them.”

Barnes added: “If Jude Bellingham is going to be the No.10, the playmaker on the ball all the time, all Foden will be is a bit-part player. Work hard, defend, give the ball to Bellingham.

“Therefore, what is he doing there? It doesn’t matter what position he plays. The football, the tactics, the template of how they play, the way they move the ball… unless it’s going to be like Man City, you’ll never see the best of Foden.”

👉 Jude Bellingham and his ‘hero balls’ not even England’s best player
👉 England Clamour Rankings: Anthony Gordon offers Trent and Foden solution
👉 Jude Bellingham’s England (just) beat Serbia: 16 Conclusions on an unnecessarily nervy opener

Cesc Fabregas suggested that Foden needs to take more responsibility in an England shirt and needs to “want it more than the rest”.

Fabregas said: “You see Jude [Bellingham] imposing himself, getting in the face of opponents, he oozes this class.

“He [Foden] needs to do that himself as well. A player of this class, level and talent at times doesn’t even need to be told by the coach what he needs to do.

“Phil needs to want it more than the rest and it showed that Jude Bellingham is a little bit above him in this regard.

“Foden needs to get that personality back and do what he does at Manchester City.”