Gareth Southgate U-turned on Jack Grealish after 'brutally honest' claim about Man City star

England manager Gareth Southgate congratulates Jack Grealish
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)


Gareth Southgate faced tough decisions while selecting his England squad for the Euros, notably leaving out Jack Grealish.

The Manchester City ace, a standout performer at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, was one of the most notable omissions from the team heading to Germany this summer. This comes despite Southgate's previous admissions of being a "huge fan" of Grealish, even during off-peak periods in the last season.

Southgate acknowledged that Grealish is often "brutally honest" about his own game, a trait that could negatively impact his form and confidence. "Sometimes I think he's too hard on himself," Southgate said after England's 1-0 victory over Australia in October.

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Praising Grealish's exceptional ability, Southgate also mentioned James Maddison as another talented player who didn't make the cut, saying they both "see the world differently", reports the Mirror.

Eight months later, both Grealish and Maddison were not included in the squad. Southgate explained: "We're blessed with options in attacking areas, all offering something slightly different. Madders and Jack give us something different as well, so they're tough calls,.

"We've gone over it and over it as staff to try and be fair. We back our decisions but we recognise we could have gone a different route. Both boys are big characters and great to work with."

Although Grealish has made 36 appearances for England, he has only participated in two of the last six matches. Southgate acknowledged the high quality of his attacking options including Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, Anthony Gordon, Eberechi Eze and Jarrod Bowen.

Maddison expressed his disappointment at not being included in the squad on X, while still wishing the team success at the Euros. He admitted: "Devastated doesn't quite cut it. Trained well and worked hard all week but if I'm honest with myself, my form for Spurs when coming back from injury in the second half of the season probably wasn't at the levels I had set which gave Gareth a decision to make.

"I still thought there would be a space for me in a 26-man squad as I feel I bring something different and had been a mainstay in this whole qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 in Germany but the manager has made the decision and I have to respect that.

"I'll be back, I have no doubt. Wishing the boys all the luck in the world out in Germany, unbelievable group and lads that I literally call some of my best friends. I genuinely hope football comes home."

This was the sentiment expressed by a player who, along with Harry Maguire, Jarrad Branthwaite, Curtis Jones, James Trafford and Jarell Quansah, was dropped from the final squad.