Wright slams ‘anonymous’ England star who ‘needs to make it happen for himself’

Joe Williams
Ian Wright and England star Phil Foden
Ian Wright has criticised Phil Foden's performance against Serbia.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright thinks England attacker Phil Foden “needs to make it happen for himself and demand the ball” after a poor display against Serbia.

The Three Lions beat Serbia 1-0 on Sunday evening to make the perfect start to their Group C campaign at Euro 2024 with Jude Bellingham’s header the only goal of the game.

Serbia tested England more in the second half as Gareth Southgate’s side lost control of the match but the Three Lions could have still added to their lead if Harry Kane had converted a Jarrod Bowen cross late on.

Most of England’s good attacking play came down the right-hand side through Bukayo Saka – who set up Bellingham’s goal – with Foden struggling to get into the match down the left.

And Wright was critical of the Premier League Player of the Season and thinks a player of Foden’s quality needs to find a way into the game himself, rather than relying on his team-mates to pass to him.

“I don’t think Phil Foden played well today, he didn’t get into it,” the former England striker said on the Wrighty’s House podcast.

“People talk about Foden and his positions, I can understand that because of how good he is as a footballer, but he didn’t get into the game today.

“He doesn’t play a free role for Manchester City. Given the team he plays for and the calibre of players he plays with, I don’t think he should be as anonymous as he was today.

“We can’t question his ability because what he’s showed us at Man City, but what you look at now… the elite players find it.

“I think it comes down to a mental thing now where he has to think if it’s not happening for him, he has to go find it. If you’ve got that much ability but you’re so anonymous, what’s wrong?

“We can’t always blame the system. He needs to make it happen for himself and demand the ball.”

Wright wasn’t the only pundit to criticise Foden with former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara claiming the Manchester City star should’ve been taken off.

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O’Hara said during the closing stages of the match: “Phil Foden should be off the pitch. I’m sorry, I love him, he’s been unbelievable this season but ineffective in an England shirt.

“I love Phil Foden. I feel for him. I feel for Phil because it’s the old Paul Scholes role.”