Foden thrilled to repay England boss Southgate after Iceland trip blunder

By Sports Desk November 18, 2020

Phil Foden was back in Gareth Southgate's good books with his history-making Wembley double in the 4-0 win against Iceland.

But the 20-year-old England midfielder admitted afterwards that being sent home following an away game against the same opposition in September was "one of the hardest moments" of his life.

Foden, along with Manchester United teenager Mason Greenwood, was told to leave the England camp for breaking coronavirus protocol after the 1-0 win in Reykjavik.

The Manchester City youngster returned to competitive action for England on Wednesday against familiar opponents, and turned in a stellar display in an emphatic Nations League win, opening his international account with a superb late double.

Having set up Declan Rice's opener – the West Ham midfielder's maiden England goal – Foden swept home from Jadon Sancho's pass to make it 3-0 before rounding off the scoring with a crisp finish from the edge of the box.

In the process, Foden became the youngest player in the history of the England national team to score more than once in a match at Wembley, but the playmaker insisted he was simply relieved to have repaid manager Southgate's faith.

"It's up there with one of the best games and it means a lot to me," Foden told Sky Sports.

"I just couldn’t stop smiling after my goal, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m just going to try and enjoy it as much as I can.

"[The incident in Iceland] was one of the hardest moments of my life. That’s the time you need the trust of your manager and Gareth had a lot of respect for me and it means everything to me. I just wanted to repay him with goals and do well.

"I was just determined to come back and do the best I can. I was a little bit nervous at the start of this camp but I got used to it after a while."

Southgate was thrilled for Foden to make such an impact on his first competitive appearance for his country since September 5, with the City man having come on as a substitute in a friendly win over the Republic of Ireland last week.

"I'm really pleased for him, he's such an exciting player," Southgate told Sky Sports.

"It was a big week for him to come back in, not easy for him to walk in the door when he'd left like he did previously. For us, it's done. Today the two goals were a glimpse of what he's capable of."

England finished third in Nations League Group A2, though the win means they remain unbeaten in their final game of each year since a 1-0 reverse to Germany in 2013.

With Mason Mount also getting on the scoresheet, three players aged 21 and under scored for England in the same match for the first time since February 1883 against Ireland.

Mount dovetailed well with Rice in midfield – the pair having been close friends since their time together at Chelsea's academy.

"We've been best mates since we were eight years old, we've seen each other grow," Rice told Sky Sports.

"When we knew we were starting tonight together it was special and to both score, our families will be bursting with pride."

Related items

  • Pirlo not ruling out striker swoop amid Dzeko and Scamacca links Pirlo not ruling out striker swoop amid Dzeko and Scamacca links

    Andrea Pirlo revealed he hopes to sign a striker before the transfer window closes if the right opportunity arises after Juventus beat Bologna 2-0 in Serie A on Sunday.

    Roma frontman Edin Dzeko and Sassuolo's Gianluca Scamacca – who is on loan at Genoa – have been linked with a move to Juve ahead of the February 1 deadline.

    Dzeko was left out of Roma's squad for their 4-3 win over Spezia on Saturday, leading to further speculation he could be on his way out of the club.

    Scamacca, Olivier Giroud, Fernando Llorente and Graziano Pelle have also been mentioned as potential signings for the Bianconeri.

    Pirlo said he would like to add more firepower to his squad after goals from Arthur and Weston McKennie moved the champions into fourth place in Serie A, seven points behind leaders Milan with a game in hand.

    "We are watching what happens, there is not much around," Juve head coach Pirlo told Sky Sport Italia when asked about the possibility of going into the market.

    "We do not have the obligation [to do any business], it will be a last-minute thing and if there is an opportunity to take it we will be happy."

    Arthur scored his first Juve goal in fortuitous fashion with a long-range strike that took a big deflection in the first half and McKennie sealed all three points with a header 19 minutes from time.

    Juve had 23 shots, 11 of which were on target, and Cristiano Ronaldo endured a rare off day, failing to find the back of the net with any of his five attempts.

    Pirlo warned the Turin giants must be more clinical as they go in search of more trophies after their Supercoppa Italiana triumph in midweek.

    "The important thing was to win after the satisfaction of the victory in the Supercoppa," he said.

    "We started well but missed a few too many opportunities to end the game."

    He added: "We played a good match against a team that attacks well, we were good at finding the spaces they left us."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Ozil completes Fenerbahce move after Arsenal exit BREAKING NEWS: Ozil completes Fenerbahce move after Arsenal exit

    Mesut Ozil has completed a move to Fenerbahce after negotiating his departure from Arsenal.

    World Cup winner Ozil, once Arsenal's record signing, had been excluded from Mikel Arteta's first-team plans this season and departs after seven and a half years with the Premier League club.

    The former Germany midfielder was under contract until the end of the current campaign but reached an agreement for an early termination, clearing him to sign elsewhere.

    Fener have now confirmed the arrival of Ozil, with Arsenal announcing the playmaker's departure on their official website.

    In a statement in the Gunners' announcement, Ozil said: "I'd like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years.

    "The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.

    "Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime.

    "The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart. I'd like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong."

    Having joined from Real Madrid in September 2013, Ozil made 184 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring 33 goals and contributing 54 assists.

    He was a key part of Arsene Wenger's squad that finished second in the 2015-16 Premier League season, while he also started in the FA Cup final triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

    However, the 32-year-old had increasingly become a peripheral figure in recent years, initially under former Gunners boss Unai Emery before being left out entirely by Arteta. 

    His final Arsenal appearance came on March 3, 2020, when he played 89 minutes in a 1-0 win over West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

    Although he was twice named on the bench when the 2019-20 season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, the 32-year-old was an unused substitute against both Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in June.

    "Mesut's achievements at Arsenal are undisputed," Arteta said. "It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.

    "His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.

    "These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce."

  • Buttler hails another Root 'masterclass' Buttler hails another Root 'masterclass'

    Joe Root treated his England team-mates to an education in how to play spin bowling following his domination of the Sri Lanka attack, says Jos Buttler.

    Captain Root backed up his 228 in the first Test victory with a monumental 186 in Galle on Sunday, falling cruelly to a run out from the final ball of the day.

    Oshada Fernando's quick thinking at short leg meant England closed day three on 339-9 - a first-innings deficit of 42.

    Despite that giving Sri Lanka a slight edge in their bid to secure a series-levelling win, attention afterwards understandably focused upon Root, who passed Geoffrey Boycott, Kevin Pietersen and David Gower to go fourth on England's all-time list of Test run scorers over the course of a fabulous knock.

    "It was quite an amazing innings," Buttler said. "To back up his double hundred in the first Test, to show the mental and physical application to go again.

    "It's been a masterclass in batting against spin. It's been a great education for all of us watching from the sidelines.

    "We've thoroughly enjoyed watching him and we're gutted for him getting out in that fashion at the end of the day."

    Buttler, who was the only other England batsman to pass 50, shared a 97-run stand with Root for the fifth wicket and also marvelled at his skipper's powers of endurance.

    The 30-year-old Root motored on during the evening session despite cramps and back pain demonstrating the toll taken.

    "For all eight days of the series so far he's been out on the field," Buttler said. "This game feels a lot hotter and lot more draining than the first game, [which had] rain breaks.

    "We have to praise not only the tactical and technical aspect of his game, but the physicality and concentration to apply himself for so long.

    "Once again, to back up the first Test is quite amazing really."

    Lasith Embuldeniya carried the fight for Sri Lanka with superb figures of 7-132, but even the in-form slow left-armer could not escape punishment from Root, who swept with authority and even unfurled an audacious switch hit to fine effect.

    "There were some quite amazing shots, really," added Buttler, who is consistently England's most innovative strokemaker across all formats. "It show the confidence and the skill level is amazing.

    "He even played a little late cut left-handed. It's been great to watch. His skill level is second to none."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.