Germany players shocked by Southgate’s decision to drop Grealish

Germany players shocked by Southgate’s decision to drop Grealish

Gareth Southgate’s decision to omit Jack Grealish from his final England squad for the Euro 2024 has reportedly stunned Germany players. 

The Three Lions boss caused a stir last Thursday when he named the Manchester City winger among seven players that would be cut from his final squad for the tournament. 

Reports quickly emerged of dismay within the England camp and the call divided opinion among fans and pundits online. The likes of Crystal Palace winger Eberechi Eze and Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon were given the nod in his place. 

And according to The Independent, Grealish’s omission has ‘stunned’ members of the German national team, as the 28-year-old is someone who ‘provokes fear in opposition when he runs at them.’

The same feeling is reportedly not shared about Eze, despite the Eagles star coming off a more productive domestic season and impressive display in England’s 3-0 win over Bosnia last week. 

Jack Grealish omission from Gareth Southgate’s squad has divided opinion among fans and pundits

Members of the Germany national team were reportedly left stunned by Gareth Southgate's call

Members of the Germany national team were reportedly left stunned by Gareth Southgate’s call

The lingering admiration of Grealish’s talents may stem from his decisive cameo in England’s 2-0 win over Germany at Euro 2020. The attacker came off the bench to provide the cross for Harry Kane’s clincher in the round of 16. 

He became a cult hero among England fans during the nation’s run to the final, with supporters constantly urging Southgate to hand him more minutes.  

A similar sentiment was shared by former Manchester United and Serbia midfielder Nemanja Matic, who claimed his nation were given a boost by the news that Grealish and Marcus Rashford – who did not even make Southgate’s provisional 33-man roster – would be absent for their tournament opener on June 16. 

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‘I would always like to have players like [Marcus Rashford] and [Jack Grealish] in the team.’ He wrote on X on Friday. ‘Players who can decide the game with one move! Not selected/good news for us.’

Grealish ultimately paid the price for a poor campaign at the Etihad, affected by injury and largely marked by underwhelming form. He made only 10 starts in the Premier League and ended the campaign with only four goal contributions. 

The arrival of Jeremy Doku saw his gametime dramatically reduce and his place in the City pecking order was perhaps best shown during the FA Cup final when, needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit in the closing stages against Man United, Pep Guardiola turned instead to the Belgian. 

Last week, following the final squad announcement, The Telegraph reported that that one England player spoke to Southgate to try to understand the call and help explain it to team-mates. Others are said to have rallied around the 28-year-old. 

They go on to claim that Grealish was ‘stunned and upset’, though there is no suggestion the decision sparked argument or confrontation.

Mindful of his place being at risk, Grealish had cut short his holiday in order to boost his chances of making it to Germany. Man City and Man United players were not due to report until the start of this week following their participation in the FA Cup final on May 25.

The Man City winger made a telling impact off the bench against Germany in Euro 2020

The Man City winger made a telling impact off the bench against Germany in Euro 2020

Grealish endured a disappointing season for Man City last season and started only 10 games in the Premier League

Grealish endured a disappointing season for Man City last season and started only 10 games in the Premier League

Grealish, however, decided to join the group at their Darlington training camp at the earliest possible opportunity.

His show of commitment as well as a productive substitute performance against Bosnia on Monday, reportedly raised hopes that he would be included in the final roster.

The Telegraph claimed that ‘shocked players visited Grealish’s room after hearing that he would be going home with some telling him that he should have been in the squad.’

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They state that his exit was handled ‘professionally’ and he wished the remaining squad and staff well ahead of the tournament.

The upset was shared among many fans and commentators on social media. Football writer and content creator Umir said: ‘Grealish omission, for his profile and what he offers in certain knockout game game states is crazy to me.

‘Know he’s not been in the best of form league-wise but his ability to bring the ball upfield and win fouls as an outlet, top Top retention in high poss side v blocks too.’

Along with Grealish and Maguire, James Maddison, Curtis Jones, Jarell Quansah, Jarrad Branthwaite and James Trafford were the other names not to make the final cut.

Speaking on his decision to leave players out, Southgate insisted that the axed players’ recent club form had proven a deciding factor.

‘All of the players took the news really respectfully,’ Southgate said. ‘All players believe they should be in.

His omission from the final England squad is reported to have prompted a senior player to question Gareth Southgate on his decision

His omission from the final England squad is reported to have prompted a senior player to question Gareth Southgate on his decision

‘We just feel other players have had stronger seasons, particularly in the last six months or so.

‘The attacking areas of the pitch, we’re blessed with options. They’ve been tough calls, they’re calls we’ve gone over and over with the staff.

‘We back our decisions but realise we could have gone a different route. Sad to have to deliver that news to them.’

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