Even Rio Ferdinand says Gareth Southgate should have used Cole Palmer vs Serbia

England beat Serbia 1-0 last night at the Euros, but it was almost a very different story and manager Gareth Southgate came away a very lucky man in the end.

Serbia were all over England in the second half and they were actually very unlucky not to score at least one goal and come away with a point. That would have been a fair end result. But England managed to hold on after Jordan Pickford made some big second half saves, and Gareth Southgate just hoped for the best.

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Southgate continued to ignore one of his best offensive players and left Cole Palmer on the bench, much to the annoyance of Chelsea fans, and to the annoyance of plenty of England fans too.

Even Rio Ferdinand has now questioned why Southgate didn’t use Palmer and just left him warming the bench. Everyone could see it.

Reserved and defensive Southgate

Southgate chose to ignore Cole Palmer

The England manager is known to be defensive and reserved and would much rather try and hold out a 1-0 lead rather than hunt more goals and finish the game off.

We all saw it, just as it always is. Even Rio knows. He was in the studio as a pundit last night, and after the game he said:

“The game needed a bit more control. Where are the players that can do that? Kobbie Mainoo maybe yes, [come on] a bit earlier if need be.

“But also someone like Cole Palmer who has got that bit of swagger and arrogance to say give me that ball. The way Tadic came on for Serbia, he came on and said give me the ball, I will be that outlet for you guys’.”

Once again, he’s absolutely spot on here. Palmer is exactly what England needed at that point to gain some control back. But Southgate ran scared yet again.


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