Gary Lineker has slammed Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench during England’s 1-0 defeat against Italy in the Nations League on Friday night. The Three Lions were consigned to Nations League relegation as a result of this loss at the San Siro in Milan, their third loss in five matches.

Boss Southgate was booed off the pitch by the travelling support at the end of the match just months after he was jeered by disgruntled fans at Wembley following England’s humiliating 4-0 defeat against Hungary back in June.

But even more worryingly for Southgate his team have now gone five competitive matches without victory and not scored a goal in open play for 450 minutes. The Match of the Day host also hit out that James Maddison was not even included in the squad

The boss has come under intense criticism of late with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker the latest to slam the boss, his reasoning for leaving Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold out of the starting line-up. Reece James got the nod to start the match at right wing-back over the Liverpool full-back. It was not only that decision that left the former striker unhappy as he also remains baffled that Leicester City midfielder James Maddison was not even named in the squad. 

The Three Lions boss moved to protect his players , insisting he would take the flak for England’s deeply concerning form. ‘We are on a run of bad results, it’s for us to put that right,’ Southgate said.

‘The only way to do that is to stick what we believe, stick with what’s got us success in previous tournaments and in the end the players have got to stay really tight. ‘There’s going to be a lot of noise but that will be around me and that’s absolutely fine. It’s my job to take that pressure for them.

‘I understand the reaction at the end because that’s the results we’ve had in this competition. It’s an understandable emotional reaction.’ Despite England’s sorry sequence – their worst run since 1992 Southgate believed defeat at the San Siro represented an improvement.

‘A lot of good individual performances, I personally thought the performance was a step in the right direction but I’Il perfectly understand that because of the result that’s not going to be the reaction.’

‘It’s difficult for me to be too critical of the performance, we had more possession, more shots, more shots on target. ‘But it’s a spell where ultimately results are going to be the thing everyone reacts to but I thought there were lot of positives for us as a team tonight.


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