‘You wouldn’t be happy’ – Keane claims England stars will be annoyed with Southgate’s TAA decision

Lewis Oldham
Roy Keane England Southgate
Roy Keane questions Gareth Southgate's decision.

Roy Keane has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to use Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield at Euro 2024.

Alexander-Arnold‘s role at Liverpool changed this season as Jurgen Klopp used the 25-year-old as an inverted right-back.

This enabled Liverpool to get the best out of the talented right-back, but Southgate has gone a step further and played him as an out-and-out midfielder in England‘s Euro 2024 opener against Serbia.

The Liverpool star started in midfield alongside Arsenal’s Declan Rice, while Jude Bellingham was operated in a No.10 role.

England made a great start to the game and Bellingham headed them in front inside the opening 15 minutes, but Southgate’s side faded towards the end of the first half and Serbia caused them plenty of problems after the restart.

Conor Gallagher replaced Alexander-Arnold with 20 minutes to go as Southgate made a defensive change with England coming under pressure. This paid off in the end as his side won 1-0.

Alexander-Arnold has been selected ahead of Gallagher, Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton to start in midfield and Keane suspects these players “won’t be happy”.

“If you’re a midfielder in that squad and you see a right-back getting ahead of you in international football, you wouldn’t be happy,” Keane said.

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Gary Neville added: “I think Gareth wants to get Gallagher into the team. He is obviously going to make unpopular decisions, he is not scared of it.

“But I think there is an element of wanting to get Gallagher in but he knows it will be deemed as being quite negative. He has not gone for Mainoo.”

Ian Wright then said: “You have to mention Wharton. Someone like him who can play on that half-turn, at some stage you have to look at him.”

Alexander-Arnold has indicated that Southgate has “worked very hard over the past year” to get him ready to play in midfield.

“I was prepared and not just through myself, but especially the manager and (assistant manager) Steve Holland have worked very hard over the past year for me to understand and know the role that I’m being asked to do,” Alexander-Arnold said.

“Not only that, I’m playing with two of the, if not the two best midfielders in football right now, in Declan and Jude. So I’m in good company when I’m in there, they’ve helped me.”

He continued: “I tried to contribute as much as I could to the team.

“I was told, it was explained what my role would be, trying to execute it to the best of my ability and contribute to the win.

“So hopefully the manager and staff will obviously analyse the game back and see it, but the most important thing is to win and hopefully I contributed to that.”

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