Foden vows his Bellingham partnership will improve after England criticism

By Sports Desk June 19, 2024

Phil Foden is confident his combination play with Jude Bellingham will improve after the Manchester City star's performance in England's Euro 2024 opener came in for criticism.

While Real Madrid talisman Bellingham scored the winning goal against Serbia with a powerful early header and produced an inspirational display, the impact of Foden was more limited.

Foden scored 27 goals and added 13 assists in a stunning club season for Premier League winners Man City, but he created just one chance in Sunday's 1-0 victory.

The 24-year-old moved out to the left flank, making way to accommodate Bellingham playing centrally behind captain Harry Kane, with Bukayo Saka out on the right.

As well as not making a creative impact, Foden also failed to register a single shot in an unusually quiet outing.

But Foden is confident he and Bellingham will get the best out of each other despite calls for him to be dropped from Gareth Southgate's starting XI ahead of Wednesday’s second match against Denmark.

"Jude is obviously an exceptional talent, he carries himself really well and I think he is turning into a leader," said Foden.

"Our link up play is good at times. I think it is improving as well and can keep getting better.

"He is an exciting talent and I enjoy playing with him."

Foden acknowledged the Serbia match had provided an early test for England, but that was something he welcomed.

He added: "The first game of a major tournament is always the most difficult – it is important to get off to a win and we did that.

"It was difficult at times. Obviously, we had to defend at times and dig deep.

"But I think that shows a different side to us and if we are going to win something I think that we have to do that."

England, who were pre-tournament favourites, will be hoping to top Group C in order to avoid a potential last-16 tie against hosts Germany, who lead Group A. The winners of Group A will face the runners-up of Group C in Dortmund on June 29.

After facing Denmark, England's group-stage campaign will conclude with a match against Slovenia on Tuesday.

Related items

  • Shearer expects Southgate departure after gut-wrenching Euro 2024 failure Shearer expects Southgate departure after gut-wrenching Euro 2024 failure

    Gareth Southgate will likely leave England with his last game as the Euro 2024 final defeat, according to former Three Lions talisman Alan Shearer.

    England suffered another European Championship heartbreak on Sunday, falling to Mikel Oyarzbal's 86th-minute winner in Berlin as Spain snatched a deserved 2-1 victory.

    Southgate's side are the first side in history to lose consecutive Euros finals, while the England manager is the first boss to ever suffer defeat in two European Championship showpieces.

    With Southgate's current contract ending in December, speculation remains rife over his future with reports linking Eddie Howe, Graham Potter and Mauricio Pochettino as potential replacements.

    Shearer, a former England team-mate of Southgate, believes the Spain defeat may mark his last at the helm of the national side.

    "My guess is – and it is only a guess – he may now say to someone else that it is their turn to try to get England over the line," Shearer wrote in his BBC Sport column.

    "If he does, then he has put the team in an excellent position for someone to take the team forward, to take that next step and win a major tournament."

    Southgate transformed England's fortunes, steadying the ship to take them to unprecedented ground in the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euros finals in back-to-back editions.

    "Gareth came in and put a smile on everyone's faces – bringing the squad together," the former Newcastle United striker added.

    "He put the team in a much better position mentally and the spirit he nurtured helped us get to the final again.

    "For achieving all of those things he deserves a huge amount of respect and gratitude, but it's just unfortunate that – for all his excellent work – Gareth just wasn't quite able to get the best out of this team in Germany, and that was the difference between us reaching another final and winning one."

    With the World Cup to follow in 2026, a new era may await England, who must bounce back once more after another setback on the biggest stage.

    Regardless of who takes charge in that tournament, Shearer insists Southgate should be proud of his achievements.

    "Gareth will be hurting like hell after what happened in Berlin but my feeling is that, when the dust settles on the final of Euro 2024, he will decide he's had enough," Southgate's Euro 1996 team-mate said.

    "It should be his decision to stay or go – and I think it will be – but it is a tiring job and he has been doing it for a long time.

    "If he does leave, he should go with his head held high because England are in a completely different place now compared to where they were when he took over in 2016."

  • Atletico shift Saul out on loan to LaLiga rivals Sevilla Atletico shift Saul out on loan to LaLiga rivals Sevilla

    Saul Niguez has moved from Atletico Madrid on loan to Sevilla with the option of an extension after the 2024-25 campaign.

    Both LaLiga clubs confirmed the transfer agreement on Monday, with each side referencing the "possibility of an extension" past the upcoming season.

    The 29-year-old has started just 25 La Liga games across the last two seasons for Atletico, who are reportedly keen to reduce their expenditure on their first-team squad salary.

    Reports in Spain suggest the midfielder has a three-year offer from league rivals Sevilla, though a complex transfer means the deal cannot be described as a purchase option with the possibility of a return to Atletico.

    Saul made 49 appearances for Diego Simeone's men last season, though starts were limited as Atletico finished fourth in the Spanish top flight.

    He has been capped 19 times by Spain and made 23 appearances for Chelsea, his last loan spell in the 2022-23 season before returning to Simeone's team.

    Saul's addition marks the fourth arrival in Andalusia, with Arsenal's Albert Sambi Lokonga also loaned, along with moves for Chidera Ejuke and Peque Fernandez.

  • Ten Hag slams 'not good enough' Man Utd after surprise friendly defeat to Rosenborg Ten Hag slams 'not good enough' Man Utd after surprise friendly defeat to Rosenborg

    Erik ten Hag slammed Manchester United as "by far not good enough" after their shock friendly defeat to Rosenborg on Monday.

    The Red Devils suffered a late 1-0 loss at Lerkendal Stadion after Noah Holm's 93rd-minute winner.

    An underwhelming performance in their first pre-season game was in stark contrast to their last outing before that, a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final.

    Rosenborg were denied by the woodwork on four separate occasions while attempting 22 shots to United's meagre five.

    Ten Hag started the likes of Casemiro, Jonny Evans, Marcus Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Mason Mount, leaving the United boss somewhat furious with their efforts in Trondheim.

    "The result is not secondary. We play pre-season but at Manchester United, there's a standard," said Ten Hag to MUTV after the game.

    "You win games. Definitely, you don't lose games. If you can't win, don't lose the game as we did at the end, the last second of the game.

    "The performance is more important. The performance was below standard."

    Radek Vitek, United's 20-year-old goalkeeper, was forced into seven saves in a one-sided pre-season meeting as the only Red Devils player to impress.

    "Let's say he got the opportunity from the team to make some very good saves because our performance as a team is by far not good enough," Ten Hag responded when asked about Vitek's showing.

    "I have seen this is not the standard for top football. Top football, you have to achieve much higher standards. It starts with any individual, make sure you are fit.

    "I know we can't be match fit in this moment, therefore, you need these games. I know we are playing an opponent who are in their league, they have a much higher fitness level.

    "But still we are Man Utd and players and teams from Man Utd must perform better."

    Ten Hag's only credit from the game was placed on the youngsters who came on at half-time in wholesale changes.

    "They always listen, they try to transfer. We didn't succeed today," the Dutchman said of his younger players.

    "But the attitude, they want to transfer the coaching play model, they are always willing to do it. But it is clear today we didn't transfer it to the pitch."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.