England: Wright slams ‘crazy’ Southgate decision as he makes ‘harum-scarum’ Switzerland prediction

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal legend Ian Wright
Ian Wright during his role as a television pundit.

Arsenal legend Ian Wright thinks a “crazy” decision made by head coach Gareth Southgate has contributed to England’s struggles at Euro 2024.

The Three Lions face Switzerland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024 on Saturday evening.

Up to now, England have underperformed in Germany and avoided a disappointing exit in the previous round as they were 1-0 down against Slovakia before goals from Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane saved Southgates side.

With Marc Guehi suspended and England lacking balance on the left flank, Southgate is expected to use a back three against Switzerland as Ezri Konsa, John Stones and Kyle Walker are expected to start.

Luke Shaw has returned to fitness but his prolonged absence means Southgate is likely to start Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as a left wing-back against Switzerland, while Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to start on the right.

Wright previously called for Saka to be used as a left-back after it was “so thick not to bring a back-up” to Shaw.

“It would be a shame,” Wright said.

“I mentioned it previously because our manager… it’s so thick not to bring a back-up to Luke Shaw and it [Saka at left wing-back] was something that I mentioned as a solution.”

READ: No Foden, Saka, Walker in England v Switzerland combined XI as Xhaka, Rice finally link up

He added: “I’m not bothered about what [his critics] are saying! The fact is that I put a question to everybody about now we haven’t got a left-back, we’ve got someone who has played there, so you ask the question.

“People can do that [criticise], I’m not bothered about that. I’m more talking about getting that left side going.

“So if it’s Luke Shaw and he can do it then that’s fine. If Gareth now says he’s going to play Saka there then hopefully that will get in going.”

Wright has backed Saka to “be okay” in this defensive role, but he has called out Southgate’s “crazy” decision.

“He’ll be okay! In the end, he ended up at right wing-back as well at one stage,” Wright claimed.

“But what I am more concerned about is the fact that our manager didn’t bring a back-up which is just crazy and so that’s why that might have to happen.

“I’m just pleased that something might change because something has to change.

“We’ve got to where we are and I’m really happy about it, I’m not going to be down on the guys. We’ve shown that we’ve got players that can pull it out the fire.”

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Wright has also made a “harum-scarum” prediction for England’s quarter-final.

‘You know something? I was going to say 3-2 to us because I think they will score a couple,” Wright predicted.

“‘I believe Phil [Foden] and Saka and [Jude] Bellingham… I believe that this is the time and this is where we can cause them problems.

“I think it’s going to be harum-scarum. I’ll go 2-1 because that’ll be just as exciting.”