Sam Allardyce calls out Gareth Southgate’s ‘bad statement’ he should have never made

By Staff

Sam Allardyce has criticised Gareth Southgate’s reference to Kalvin Phillips following England’s abject display against Denmark.

The inquest into the dire 1-1 draw – their worst at a tournament under Southgate – is continuing. Following Harry Kane ’s early opener, the Three Lions were lacklustre and were lucky to escape with a point which kept them top of Group C.

Southgate’s experiment of playing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield hasn’t work and will surely be ditched for the group finale against Slovenia on Tuesday. Following the Denmark horror-show, Southgate bizarrely referenced the absence of Kalvin Phillips, previously a mainstay of the midfield but whose club form has dropped off a cliff.

After being cast aside by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Phillips endured a disastrous loan spell at West Ham last season, ending any prospect of him earning a spot in the Euros squad.

“We have been trying to find a solution in midfield for seven or eight years,” said the England boss. “If we hadn’t had Declan Rice for the last few years, I don’t know where we’d have been.

“Unfortunately, Kalvin [Phillips] wasn’t possible for us for this tournament and Hendo [Jordan Henderson] the same, so we’re trying to find something different.”

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The comments didn’t sit well with Southgate’s short-lived predecessor. “That’s a bad statement,” said the former Hammers boss on the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast. Joining Allardyce on the podcast was Kevin Nolan, who insisted Southgate’s words had probably been taken out of context.

“I think what he was trying say, it’s come out wrong and everyone’s took it [the wrong way],” said the former West Ham midfielder and coach. Allardyce added: “You know what they’re like though, when you drop one wrong word, you’re knackered.”

Nolan went on: “What he meant was that Declan and Kalvin had such a good understanding. Kalvin’s been unfortunate, he just couldn’t get going [at West Ham].”

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