Ian Wright slams 'anonymous' England star after nervy Euro 2024 opener

ian wright slams 'anonymous' england star after nervy euro 2024 opener

Ex-England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright (Picture: Getty)

Ian Wright criticised ‘anonymous’ Phil Foden after England’s nervy opening Euro 2024 win over Serbia.

The Three Lions made hard work of their opening Euros fixture but still managed to clinch three crucial points in Group C courtesy of Jude Bellingham’s early goal.

England made a bright start to the match in Gelsenkirchen and looked on course for a comfortable evening after Bellingham headed home Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross on 13 minutes.

Gareth Southgate’s side continued to impress for the rest of the first half but lost control of their Euros opener after the break, with Serbia threatening to equalise.

England held firm to take an early lead in Group C but pundits and fans were left somewhat underwhelmed by the performance from one of the Euro 2024 favourites.

Wright was pleased England made a winning start to the tournament in Germany but singled out Manchester City star Foden for criticism.

Foden enjoyed a sensational season for Man City, helping Pep Guardiola’s side win a fourth successive title and taking home the Premier League player of the season award.

ian wright slams 'anonymous' england star after nervy euro 2024 opener

Phil Foden in action during England’s victory over Serbia (Picture: Getty)

But Wright says the 24-year-old struggled to ‘get into the game’ against Serbia and was ‘anonymous’ for much of the match.

‘I don’t think Phil Foden played well today, he didn’t get into it,’ the ex-England and Arsenal striker said on the Wrighty’s House podcast.

‘People talk about Foden and his positions, I can understand that because of how good he is as a footballer, but he didn’t get into the game today.

‘He doesn’t play a free role for Manchester City. Given the team he plays for and the calibre of players he plays with, I don’t think he should be as anonymous as he was today.

‘We can’t question his ability because what he’s showed us at Man City, but what you look at now… the elite players find it.

‘I think it comes down to a mental thing now where he has to think if it’s not happening for him, he has to go find it. If you’ve got that much ability but you’re so anonymous, what’s wrong?

ian wright slams 'anonymous' england star after nervy euro 2024 opener

Jude Bellingham scored England’s winner (Picture: Getty)

‘We can’t always blame the system. He needs to make it happen for himself and demand the ball.’

England will look to improve in their final two group games against Denmark and Slovenia as they attempt to win their first major trophy since 1966.

Speaking after England’s opening win, Southgate said he expected a tough encounter against Serbia while reserving special praise for Bellingham.

‘I didn’t expect it to be any other way,’ Southgate said. ‘We played an opponent who can play well and be direct.

‘I was pleased we played the way we did in the first half, we should have probably had a second with the chances we created.’

On Bellingham, who helped Real Madrid win the Champions League earlier in the month, Southgate added: ‘He seems to write his own scripts. He welcomes the attention and he keeps delivering.

‘He had some outstanding moments in the game and equally our two wide players and central midfielder players did well working around him.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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