Southgate explains 'embarrassing' Jack Grealish sub against Denmark – but Neville and Keane back 'nasty' England manager

ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate has explained why he substituted Jack Grealish just 36 minutes after he came on against Italy.

Just a minute after Harry Kane had scored from his rebounded penalty to make it 2-1, Grealish was hauled off for Kieran Trippier.

ITV pundit Gary Neville called it 'embarrassing' to happen to a player.

His fellow Manchester United legend Roy Keane praised Southgate for having a 'nasty streak' to get results.

And now the Three Lions gaffer has explained his reasoning behind subbing off the Aston Villa playmaker.

The 50-year-old told talkSPORT: "Jack had a brilliant influence on the game.

“Denmark threw four forwards forward and we needed five [defenders] back.

“Raheem [Sterling] was such a threat that it was either going to be Phil [Foden] or Jack to get the solidity without the ball.

“We still needed to get that pressure up the pitch. We sank a little bit too deep for five minutes or so.

“We just needed to keep the ball and it took us five minutes to work that out. When we started to keep it, we were running the clock down with a lot less anxiety.”

A post shared by Jack Grealish (@jackgrealish)

Grealish did not seem too unhappy with how things went, uploading a photo of the lads celebrating with Kane after his goal on Instagram.

He captioned it: "I love this team!! What a night at Wembley! One more to go."

England managed to hold out without too much alarm and have set up a Euro 2020 final against Italy – their first major final since 1966.

But former England striker Michael Owen wasn't so sure taking off Grealish was the right idea.


He tweeted: "Regardless of the result, bringing @JackGrealish off isn’t my idea of a good decision.

"He is the perfect player in this situation to keep the ball, win free kicks, run the clock down etc."

Some fans on Twitter called it 'disrespectful to Grealish', but other spoke of their 'admiration' for Southgate for taking the difficult decision.

And talkSPORT pundit and England legend Stuart Pearce thinks the boss got it spot on.

He said: “Jack’s probably the least defensive minded of players there. You can’t take Kalvin Phillips off.”

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