We tore into Gareth Southgate’s handling of Mason Greenwood for England last week when he put him up in front of a press conference on his first day on international duty.

Greenwood has been protected from the media by United, and was suddenly thrust in front of reporters asking him all kinds of questions, including one on Harry Maguire.

The United youngster would go on to let himself down, as he was kicked out of the squad with Phil Foden for inviting two girls to their rooms.

Iceland v England - UEFA Nations League
(Photo by Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images)

‘Boys will be boys’ excuses were less valid amid concerns about the pandemic, and both players justly returned to their clubs.

England went onto produce one of the most boring international performances in recent memory (and that’s saying something) as the team drew 0-0 with Denmark.

What really was unacceptable, was Southgate’s attempt to pin the blame for the defeat on Greenwood and Foden.

He told The Independent: “If we’d been lightweight and wide open and looked a mess, we could have left here with a completely different sort of outcome, and everybody pointing at yesterday[‘s incident] as the cause of it, and we just needed a solid base to work from tonight.

“We tried to then accelerate the game, but weren’t quite able to convert that into the win at the end.”

 

The two should not be connected

Southgate should be taking responsibility for the poor performance on the chin, and not blaming it on two naive youngsters who made a mistake, or his fear of the media.

The manager was the one who picked a midfield with Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice and Eric Dier, and left creative influence Jack Grealish on the bench.

(Photo by David Aliaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Southgate also managed to somehow select an England squad without a left-back, which was totally puzzling.

Southgate looks out of his depth at times, and is too cautious, especially in Nations League matches which ultimately, very few supporters care about.

Fans want to be entertained in these games, not feeling like watching them is a chore.

Southgate’s attempt to push the blame onto Greenwood does not wash, and is beyond embarrassing.

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