Ex-England international hits out at Gareth Southgate’s treatment of Chelsea star

Former England international Jack Wilshere believes Gareth Southgate’s decision to substitute Conor Gallagher at half time against Slovenia would have damaged the midfielder’s confidence.

England turned in another uninspiring performance in the goalless draw on Tuesday evening, but the point was enough to secure top spot in Group C.

Southgate made one change to his starting line-up with Conor Gallagher replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

Wilshere feels Gallagher’s confidence could be damaged

Off the back of a brilliant season with Chelsea Gallagher found himself on the bench for the opening two games as Southgate experimented with Alexander-Arnold in midfield.

The 24-year-old was introduced from the bench against both Serbia and Denmark, with his high energy and pressing helping the the Three Lions, especially against the Danes.

Gallagher was handed the opportunity to impress from the off against Slovenia as he was chosen to partner Declan Rice, but he was perhaps harshly replaced by Kobbie Mainoo at the break having struggled in the first half.

Conor Gallagher in action for England against Slovenia.
Gallagher struggled to make an impact against Slovenia.

Wilshere feels the decision was harsh and that Southgate could have damaged Gallagher’s confidence.

“Kobbie Maino was always my preference to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold in England’s midfield, he told The Sun.

“I think he showed why in the second half tonight. But I still feel that it was harsh on Conor Gallagher that he was taken off at half time.

“Firstly because it was probably our best half of the tournament. And secondly, because it didn’t feel like a Gareth Southgate thing to do.

“It will knock Gallagher’s confidence for sure. He will have thought that this was his chance, but he only gets a half.

“Having said that, despite the disappointing result, the second half was better and Mainoo proved he is the man, or boy to play there in future.

“He’s only 19 but he understands the game so well and knows what it needs.

“He is better on the ball than Gallagher and he also allowed Declan Rice to get forward even more in the second half than he had in the first.”

For Gallagher it could be an opportunity missed and it’s likely he could find himself back on the bench for the last 16 clash on Sunday.

Tags Conor Gallagher Gareth Southgate Jack Wilshere
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