Neville blasts England situation after Maddison departure, with ‘you think you are better’ remark

Ciaran McCarthy
James Maddison, Gary Neville
Gary Neville has questioned why James Maddison left the England camp

Gary Neville has questioned why James Maddison did not stay with England after being told he was not in the Euro 2024 squad, as he was always annoyed that players being left out seemed to think they were better than those picked.

Maddison, who has played seven times for England, was in the initial Three Lions squad ahead of the Euros, but that had to be trimmed to just 26 men. He was one of those who was told he’d be left out during fixtures just before the tournament.

As a result, he left the squad between games against Bosnia and Iceland. The Tottenham man released a statement suggesting that he was disappointed, but knew he had not played to a good enough level at the back end of the season to push his case.

Despite that, former England international Neville has questioned why the midfielder didn’t stay, stating he was always annoyed at players who seemed to think they were better than those who had been picked, though not suggesting that is true of Maddison.

“Why did he leave early? I would have stayed there. The reason I would have stayed would probably have been one, there is an element of duty; ultimately you are in it together, and I always have this feeling in football that if you are left out, you should still support the team” Neville said on The Overlap.

“And I’m not having a go at Maddison, and different players deal with it in different ways.

“But the reason I would have stayed is I used to get really p****d off as a player if someone went mad that they were left out because what you are saying is the guy that was picked in front of you isn’t good enough; you think you are better than him.”


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Indeed, Neville feels that Maddison could have shown he was willing to be a backup, but other players that stayed would be more likely to be given that role in case of injury.

“You have a duty to be professional. The reason I would have stayed secondly is, let’s say [Phil] Foden got injured somehow in that game. I would have wanted to make sure – I think Gareth [Southgate] would have thought I’m going to keep the guy who stayed, I’m not going to pick the guy who has gone home,” Neville added.

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