Men's Team

Pundits and press sound salute to Foden in wake of Hampden display

There was no shortage of praise for City’s Phil Foden in the wake of his sublime display during England’s eye-catching friendly win over Scotland on Tuesday.

The Three Lions served up a hugely impressive performance as they despatched Scotland 3-1 at Hampden in a clash to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the two nations’ first meeting.

And City star Foden – who started in Glasgow alongside Etihad colleagues Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips – proved instrumental in the impressive victory.

Foden it was whose 32nd minute strike from Walker’s assist set England on the road to a statement win.


In the aftermath of what was a fine night’s work north of the border, there was no shortage of praise for the City man’s display from press and pundits alike.

Former City and Lionesses star Jill Scott, who was part of Channel 4’s team covering the game at Hampden, was in no doubt as to how it further amplified Foden’s importance to the national side:

She said: 'I was so happy that Phil got his goal. I said (before the game) that you need him on the pitch because he's such an exciting talent. His goal definitely highlighted it.

OPENING GAMBIT: Phil Foden fires England ahead at Hampden Park
OPENING GAMBIT: Phil Foden fires England ahead at Hampden Park

"We often see Foden come inside but this time he holds his position so well, and it allowed him a little bit more time on the ball to find (Bellingham).

"And don't take anything away from the finish. The reactions he shows just to tap the ball into the net, that is a real talent.

"And what a talent England have in Phil Foden."

Meanwhile, writing in the Daily Mail, Ian Ladyman opined: “It will always be tempting to want more from Foden and indeed for him. He is such a beautifully natural footballer when his blood his up.

“His performance against Newcastle when playing centrally for City on the second weekend of the Premier League season is yet to be bettered by anybody. It is performances like that one that develop the thirst for more.

“But this is not Manchester. It’s England and things are done differently here.

“At full-time, as England shared victory with their supporters, Foden felt another arm on his shoulder, this time from Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland. A squeeze and then a pat on the back.

“The message seemed to be that this had been a job well done.”

CELEBRATION TIME: Foden marks his fine strike
CELEBRATION TIME: Foden marks his fine strike

Over on Sky Sports, there were similar warm words for Foden and midfield colleague Jude Bellingham, who netted England’s second goal, with the pair having combined to devastating effect to down Steve Clarke’s side.

In an opinion piece, Nick Wright scribed: "There was a wry smile from Gareth Southgate when he was asked about Phil Foden's performance after the game. "I'm pleased for him as much as anything," the England manager said.

"But after all the debate around his best position, there was vindication for the manager too.

"Southgate deployed the 23-year-old where he sees him as most effective - off the right-hand side. From there, he produced one of his best England performances.

"As always, he had licence to drift into central areas, just as he did for his goal, when nimble footwork allowed him to divert Kyle Walker's cross-shot into the net.

"But he also inflicted damage from the flanks, most notably with the wicked cross that led to the second.

"Southgate had explained that his preference for using him off the flanks was partly due to the defensive demands of the No 10 position, so it was also notable to hear him praise his work in that regard. "He did a really good job for us without the ball," he said.

"Perhaps there is a future for Foden centrally, after all. For now, though, there seems little reason to move him. Not when he can perform like this from the right - and not when England already have Bellingham rampaging through the middle to such devastating effect."