Home » “You think you are better than him” – Gary Neville slams Tottenham star for unprofessional decision

“You think you are better than him” – Gary Neville slams Tottenham star for unprofessional decision

By Mehdi Gokal -

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder James Maddison was omitted from England’s final 26-man squad for the upcoming European Championship.

Maddison was initially named in Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional squad but did not make the cut for the final roster.

The 27-year-old participated in the team’s pre-tournament preparations, making a substitute appearance in a friendly against Bosnia.

After being informed of his exclusion from the final squad, Maddison left the England camp before their subsequent friendly match against Iceland.

His early departure has drawn criticism from former Manchester United player and pundit Gary Neville, who labelled Maddison’s actions as unprofessional.

Neville emphasised that Maddison had a “duty to be professional” and should have remained with the team despite the disappointment.

Speaking on The Overlap with Wayne Rooney, Neville expressed his disapproval of Maddison’s decision to leave early, suggesting it was a mistake that could impact future selections.

Neville argued that Maddison should have stayed with the team, highlighting the potential for last-minute squad changes due to injuries.

He said:

“Why did he leave early? I would have stayed there. The reason I would have stayed would probably have been one, there is an element of duty; ultimately you are in it together, and I always have this feeling in football that if you are left out, you should still support the team.

“And I’m not having a go at Maddison, and different players deal with it in different ways. But the reason I would have stayed is I used to get really pis*** off as a player if someone went mad that they were left out because what you are saying is the guy that was picked in front of you isn’t good enough; you think you are better than him.

“You have a duty to be professional. The reason I would have stayed secondly is, let’s say Foden got injured somehow in that game. I would have wanted to make sure – I think Gareth would have thought I’m going to keep the guy who stayed, I’m not going to pick the guy who has gone home.”

England squad is stocked with midfielders

England’s squad is stocked with midfield talent, including Jude Bellingham, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Declan Rice, and Conor Gallagher.

Additionally, Maddison’s preferred #10 role faces stiff competition from players like Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, and Eberechi Eze, who secured spots in the final 26-man squad.

Maddison admitted that his performance for Tottenham last season fell short of expectations, with 4 goals and 9 assists in 28 Premier League appearances.


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