Southgate was criticised for not utilising Foden in a game where England needed a creative spark and struggled to get the better of Gregg Berhalter’s side. Carragher believes that it is a “shame” that the 22-year-old has not started in Qatar, let alone the fact he only received just 19 minutes off the bench against Iran.
“Foden has had plenty of opportunities for England, so it is not as if Southgate has ignored him,” Carragher admitted to The Telegraph. “But although it is very early in his career, there have been times watching Foden playing for his country when his situation has reminded me of John Barnes in his heyday.
“For those too young to remember, between 1987-91, Barnes was not only the most talented England player of his generation, he was streets ahead of the rest. Think of Thierry Henry during his peak years at Arsenal. That is how good Barnes was for Liverpool. Yet for England, he was a shadow of himself.
Foden has seven goals in 11 Premier League starts this season and has been a key member of Pep Guardiola’s side as they look to retain their title, and also impressed during his short cameo in England’s opening World Cup game as they put six past Iran, despite fellow substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish getting on the scoresheet instead of Foden.
After the game, Southgate explained why Rashford, Grealish and Jordan Henderson were brought on ahead of Foden. He said: “We thought it was the right thing to keep the team from the start then the wide players we went with Jack and Marcus ahead of Phil for the changes.
“Jack can keep the ball well for us and get us up the pitch, Marcus’ speed we thought would also be a threat going into the last part of the game.”