Southgate told ‘what’s the point’ five times as pundit rants about England and one ‘headless chicken’

Jason Soutar
England midfielder Conor Gallagher has been labelled as a "headless chicken"
Conor Gallagher has been labeled as a "headless chicken"

Gareth Southgate has been slammed for misusing three England players after the Three Lions’ disappointing 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday.

England underwhelmed in their opening fixture against Serbia but got over the line with a 1-0 win.

Thursday’s match against Denmark was a shambles, however. They went 1-0 up thanks to Harry Kane before Morten Hjulmand’s equaliser from long range.

Southgate’s side were outplayed by the Danes but sit top of Group C with qualification on the cards.

The England manager has been heavily criticised once again for his pragmatic approach after his players notably dropped back after taking the lead.

He made some bold substitutions against Denmark, bringing Kane off for Ollie Watkins, but the biggest talking point remains in midfield.

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Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has played next to Declan Rice in the middle of the park and has been taken off in both of England’s Euro 2024 matches.

Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher replaced Alexander-Arnold on both occasions but has failed to impress, with Kobbie Mainoo given four minutes at the end of the Serbia game but unused against Denmark and Adam Wharton yet to play.

Wharton or Mainoo might get the nod against Slovenia in next Tuesday’s final Group C encounter.

England midfielder slammed for playing like ‘a headless chicken’

What is for sure is that former Scotland international Craig Burley does not think Gallagher should play over Alexander-Arnold, labeling the Chelsea star “a headless chicken” in midfield.

“He [Southgate] made the same substitution with Conor Gallagher coming on,” Burley said. “He’s a headless chicken, runs about, got booked, probably going to get sent off.

“You can’t rely on him.”

Burley’s former Scotland team-mate Don Hutchinson added: “He nearly cost them last 20 minutes because after he got his yellow card, he couldn’t make a challenge. He had to duck out of two or three 50-50s.”

Burley then ranted about Southgate’s decision to call up Mainoo, Wharton, Anthony Gordon and Ivan Toney without playing them.

“What’s the point in taking Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton from Crystal Palace?” he continued. “Little or no experience, but they’ve taken them.

“What’s the point if you’re going to for Conor Gallagher or Trent Alexander-Arnold?

“What’s the point in having Cole Palmer if you’re not going to find a place for him when things are struggling?

“What’s the point in having the pace of Anthony Gordon? Even Ivan Toney.

“What’s the point in having all of these players if you’re not going to try and utilise them in the right way?

“They have got this Slovenia game coming up and I think he [Southgate] has to use that as a mechanism for the first knockout game, ’cause this current side that he has picked for the two games in a row are going to get put out by the first decent team they come up against.”

Does anyone else think Burley is wondering what the point is?

Following the Denmark draw, Southgate said that he does not have a natural replacement for Kalvin Phillips. This has been laughed off and went down very badly with the public.

Hutchinson adds that Wharton is an ideal replacement for Phillips.

“The Kalvin Phillips one is going to haunt him, saying ‘we haven’t got a Kalvin Phillips’. You have,” he said.

“You’ve got Wharton who’s had a sensational season. Mainoo who is a very intelligent player, but you’re talking about Kalvin Phillips, who couldn’t even get in the West Ham team.”

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