Gareth Southgate explains "embarrassing" Jack Grealish decision

Gareth Southgate claims Jack Grealish understood the decision to haul him off just 35 minutes after coming on as a substitute.

The Aston Villa talisman has divided opinion throughout Euro 2020 with Southgate opting to keep the England star on the bench for the majority of the tournament.

England booked their place in the final thanks to a 2-1 win over Denmark at Wembley, with Grealish coming on as the Three Lions searched for a winner.

But shortly after Harry Kane scored a rebound from his penalty miss, Grealish was sacrificed for Kieran Trippier.

It was a decision which drew criticism, but Southgate admitted that he held talks with the midfielder, who was on board with the change.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Jack Grealish of England looks on during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on July 7, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Jack Grealish was a second-half sub during the win over Denmark

“He’s fine – he understood, he was terrific when he came on he gave us momentum,” the England boss said.

“But we know when they’ve gone behind in games they’ve thrown four men up front so we needed to get an extra defender on just to make sure we were more solid and I wanted to keep Raheem’s [Sterling] speed on so it meant taking one of the two boys off who had just come on.’

“I feel for Jack Grealish you can see it’s a tournament that he really wants to be a part of, every time he gets going it doesn’t quite happen for him.

“To be taken off like that is of course, you subbed a sub it’s not nice.

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“But it is about the squad and being a part of it. Sunday Jack might come on and make a massive difference, he might set up the winning goal.”

Gary Neville heaped praise on Southgate for another bold decision in a tournament which is now punctuated by them.

“There’s been moments before games in this tournament where Southgate has questioned and he would have been battered if it had gone wrong,” Neville told ITV.

Gareth Southgate opened up on his decision to withdraw Grealish in extra-time
Gareth Southgate opened up on his decision to withdraw Grealish in extra-time

“Trippier in the first game, not playing Grealish enough, against Scotland the system people thought was too defensive.

“He’s done things his way all the way through the tournament, there’s no ego in the dressing room.

“He doesn’t allow anyone to get carried away, he makes decisions that have been made to make the team successful.

“Jack tonight has suffered, and it’s an embarrassing moment for him in the sense that no one likes it, but he will recognise that it was the right thing for the team.”


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