Stuart Pearce wanted England star subbed after 29 minutes in victory over Serbia

Joe Williams
Stuart Pearce on England
Stuart Pearce used to coach England

Stuart Pearce reckons England star Phil Foden should have been subbed off against Serbia after just 29 minutes when it became obvious he was going to be ineffective.

Foden headed to Germany after a fine season at Manchester City, scoring 19 goals and laying on eight assists as the Citizens won an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title.

Such form saw the 24-year-old named Man City player of the year, Premier League player of the year and Football Writers’ Association footballer of the year.

However, he was largely anonymous in a wide left position during England’s opening match of Euro 2024 as Bukayo Saka stole the show on the right-hand side.

And Pearce said during the match against Serbia that England needed to substitute Foden after only 29 minutes, when the Three Lions were still in the ascendency after taking an early lead.

Pearce said on talkSPORT: “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.”

Pearce added: “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.”

Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas believes Man City attacker Foden needs to show more in an England shirt after Jude Bellingham stole the show in their 1-0 win over Serbia.

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

“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.”