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Football Today, September 21, 2022: Jack Grealish says criticism of England boss Gareth Southgate has been harsh

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Grealish supports Southgate

Jack Grealish says criticism of England manager Gareth Southgate this summer was unjustified.

The 27-year-old Manchester City star is part of the 28-man Three Lions squad set to take on Italy and Germany in two thrilling Nations League fixtures in the coming days.

While the popular attacker hasn’t always been a regular part of Southgate’s first choice, he remains loyal to the 52-year-old boss.

Asked about the public reaction to Southgate after four games without a win in June, Grealish said: “I think it’s been tough.

“We have achieved it [Euro 2020] final last year. Then I think the Hungary game at the beginning of the last camp [a 1-0 defeat]Before that I think the last time we lost a game over 90 minutes was maybe Belgium in November 2020 or something.

“So, I think it’s very tough, especially at the World Cup and the Euros, how well the team and the coach did himself.

“I obviously found it tough, but sometimes that’s what you get when you’re English. I’ve certainly had my fair share!’

After scoring his first goal of the season for City in Saturday’s 3-0 win against Wolves, the former Aston Villa captain will be hoping for a start at the San Siro on Friday night.

Ant is handsome Gord

Former Everton boss Rafael Benitez says Anthony Gordon's fitness has improved tremendously
Former Everton boss Rafael Benitez says Anthony Gordon’s fitness has improved tremendously

Ex-Everton boss Rafael Benitez is delighted to see Anthony Gordon succeed at Goodison Park.

Benitez, who was in charge of the Toffees between June 2021 and January 2022, never doubted the 21-year-old academy graduate’s skills.

However, due to concerns about Gordon’s fitness, the veteran Spain manager was unconvinced he would make it on Merseyside.

Benitez told Sky Sports: “We played a friendly in Miami last season and after 50 minutes he couldn’t walk.

“We knew he was a ball-quality player who could shoot, pass and have pace. But he couldn’t run. We chatted with him after the game. It was hot but he’s a young player.”

“I spoke to the coaches at the academy and my assistant and they said they weren’t sure. They knew he had the talent, but maybe it was his mentality.

“He worked really hard, he improved his stamina and he kept getting better because he had the potential.

“He needs to improve some parts of his game, he knows that. But I’m really happy that he’s making progress because he’s a nice kid.”

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