Carragher explains why dropping Grealish vs Germany makes sense for England

Jamie Carragher feels it would make perfect sense for Gareth Southgate to leave Jack Grealish out of England’s starting XI vs Germany despite his impressive performance against Czech Republic.

The Aston Villa midfielder gave the Three Lions some much-needed attacking impetus in their final Group D clash and set up their only goal for Raheem Sterling.

Grealish’s driving runs forward were a welcome sight for England fans after he had been selected amongst the substitutes in the two previous games.

The calls for the 25-year-old to start every game for his country is only growing louder, but Carragher has erred on the side of caution ahead of the last 16 clash with Germany, suggesting Southgate should go with other options.

Jack Grealish could find himself back on the bench against Germany
Jack Grealish could find himself back on the bench against Germany

“Germany have stuck with their high, defensive line which is susceptible to counter-attacks,’ Carragher said in his column for The Telegraph. “For all the nationwide clamour for Southgate to stick with Jack Grealish, there are sound tactical reasons for him not doing so against this profile of opposition.”

He explained: “I have repeatedly made the point during this tournament that you can’t have a well-balanced team if too many players come towards the ball and not enough run behind defenders. That is more important than ever against a German defence which will give England a chance to turn them around.”

Carragher believes Southgate will choose not to match his German counterparts with a three-man defence, instead backing him to keep faith with his trusted 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations.

And the pundit expects Grealish to miss out as a result, with Phil Foden back in contention after sitting out the game with the Czechs due to concerns over him picking up another booking.

“Raheem Sterling was the only England attacker stretching defenders in the first two games. Bukayo Saka added a dimension by doing so against the Czech Republic,” he added. “Because of their pace, I would stick with him or bring in Marcus Rashford, but if – as expected – Phil Foden is recalled he is deceptively quick and must use that asset more.”

Southgate also faces a difficult decision whether to recall Mason Mount following his period of isolation due to Covid-19 precautions.

How should England lineup against Germany? Let us know your XI in the comments below.

Mount and teammmate Ben Chilwell have been forced to train separately all week up until midnight on Monday, leaving little time to be involved in group sessions.

For the majority of other players it would be a no brainer for Southgate to leave Mount out, but the Chelsea star has become a key player for England.

Carragher went as far to name him as potentially the fourth “guaranteed starter”, along with Harry Kane, Harry Maguire and Sterling, providing Southgate picks him for Tuesday’s knockout showdown.

And it seems that is certainly something Southgate would like to do, but the England boss revealed he would be assessing both Mount and Chilwell before making a final decision.

“It’s been quite complicated. In the main they’ve had to work entirely on their own,” said Southgate.

“There’s not only the training but the psychological part of that as well, of course.

“Yes, we will leave it as late as possible.”


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