Rio Ferdinand questions Gareth Southgate’s decisions vs France
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand questioned Gareth Southgate’s in-game decisions after England lost to France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday night.
England suffered heartbreak yet again as they crashed out of the tournament after losing 2-1 against the reigning champions.
The Three Lions had a glorious chance to equalise in the 84th minute when Theo Hernandez fouled substitute Mason Mount in the box. After barging into the Chelsea midfielder, Hernandez left the referee with no other choice but to award a penalty. Seconds later he fired over the bar from the spot.
Ferdinand believes Southgate should have brought on Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish earlier in the game and that his decisions played a role in the defeat.
Speaking on the Vibe with Five YouTube channel, the former United man said: “Our [England’s] substitutions is where I think Gareth Southgate let us down.
“I think he’s been pitch-perfect, touch-perfect in almost every decision he’s made up to this point, but you get into a game like yesterday where this is really where it matters now, and I think Gareth Southgate came up short in the tactical element in terms of substitutions.
“That’s part of tactics, making substitutions, and in-game management and deciding games with substitutions at the business end of a tournament, I think he would hold his hands up maybe in retrospect.
“I threw a text in the group, and I stand by this: Gareth, in the moment, wasn’t proactive with his substitutions, he was reactive.
“It hit 1-1 and we’re sitting there going ‘take the bull by the horns, make a substitution, get us on the front foot’. You’ve got Rashford, you’ve got Grealish who can go on, get us on the front foot and change this game.
“You’re sitting there going, ‘It’s too late, man’. You’ve got to do this when we’ve got the chance of still winning this game and taking the game from them.”
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