Peter Crouch: Foden takes risks – but that’s what you want him to do

Phil Foden would be in Peter's England team and he hopes Gareth Southgate will pick him against Wales

It surprised me Phil Foden hasn’t been in the team. I thought he’d be one of the first names on the teamsheet.

Against teams like USA and Iran, I think you could use him more centrally even. You just want to get your best footballers on the pitch because you’ll have a lot of the ball and they can use it.

He might take risks with the ball, but that’s what you need to do, isn’t it? He’s one of our best players.

Gareth Southgate

Against the teams we’ve played, you expect to have possession, you want players who’ll step up and get on the ball and try to create things.

I could see changes though for the Wales game. Four at the back is good, but I could see Foden coming in.

He could possibly replace Saka, but I don’t think you need to make massive changes because you draw with the USA.

I’d have liked to see the shackles come off this team and put James Maddison if he’s fit, but at the same time I think I’ve been scarred by that Iceland game.

That shows you anything can happen in tournament games.

But I think we should be going out to win these games and not trying to scrape through.

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY – JULY 01: Peter Crouch of England argues with Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Quarter-final match between England and Portugal played at the Stadium Gelsenkirchen on July 1, 2006 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Maguire’s a different player for England

The US did make more chances against England than I expected. They troubled us.

But we know our strengths and weaknesses. In attack, we can beat anyone. It’s defensively where you’d worry.

When we come up against a player like Kylian Mbappe and players who carry more of a threat than the USA forwards we may struggle because they’ll fancy their chances of getting at our defenders.


Saying that, Harry Maguire looks like a different player in an England shirt. He seems full of confidence when he plays for Gareth Southgate.

And the manager trusts him too, which helps.

I’m so pleased for him because I know the kind of grief he’s been getting.

He’s also a real threat at set pieces and later in the tournament when games are tight that could be the difference.

Bale dreaming of World Cup magic moment

Sometimes I think Wales overachieve with the players they have. they’ve great spirit and togetherness and they have some top players – obviously Gareth Bale, Harry Wilson’s a good player.

But a lot of their players are playing in The Championship and they really have to play above their level in these games.

And there are times, unfortunately like the second-half versus Iran, where they can get picked apart.

But I spoke to Gareth Bale when he won the Champions League with Madrid a few years ago and he told me he wanted to keep going because of the World Cup.

Playing for Wales means a huge amount to hi and he wanted to keep going and continue on to get to a World Cup and play in it.

He’d love to go out with a bang against England I think and you wouldn’t put it past him with his ability.


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