Gary Lineker calls out England manager Gareth Southgate over “best player” snub

England suffered a disappointing 1-1 draw with Hungary at Wembley on Tuesday evening, but Gary Lineker thinks Gareth Southgate may have shot himself in the foot at one stage

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England v Hungary: Match in pictures

Gary Lineker called out Gareth Southgate’s decision to substitute Jack Grealish in the second half of England’s draw against Hungary.

The visitors took a shock lead in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley thanks to a Roland Sallai penalty after Luke Shaw’s high boot on Loic Nego.

However, a John Stones finish from a set piece drew England level a little over 10 minutes later.

Three Lions boss Southgate surprised many on the 60 minute mark when he hooked Manchester City winger Grealish for Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

Grealish had looked lively on the ball for much of the game, with the England side struggling to overcome the deep-lying Hungarian side.

Gary Lineker criticised Gareth Southgate’s decision to substitute Jack Grealish

The former Aston Villa man had made his usual daring runs, but his final ball was lacking, much like the rest of the England team.

And it was indeed Grealish who was the first to be subbed, with Saka replacing him midway through the second half.

Plenty of eyebrows were raised among English fans, with former Three Lions striker and Match of the Day host going as far as to call out Southgate for taking his “best player” off the pitch.

What did you make of Grealish’s performance against Hungary? Comment down below

He tweeted: “Southgate brings on Saka for Grealish, who was comfortably the best player on the pitch.”

Grealish had a superb chance to take the lead for England but couldn’t get his shot off in time.

And Roy Keane was full of praise for the midfielder at half-time, despite not grabbing the all-important equaliser.

He told ITV: “It’s been tough going for England, it took them a while to get going, went a goal behind, Hungary to be fair defended well, good shape, good energy.

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 12: Jack Grealish of England is replaced by Bukayo Saka during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between England and Hungary at Wembley Stadium on October 12, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


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“Grealish has come into his own going past people and deserved the equaliser but it’s been a good test.”

Ian Wright also commended Grealish for having a go at taking on the Hungarian defence during the break.

“They’re very aggressive, they’ve been very organised with it,” he said alongside Keane on ITV.

“We’ve needed to be brave, Jack Grealish has had to be brave on the ball and beaten by progressing the ball.

“We’ve been giving them the opportunity to come in and take us, we have to be braver. Take them out of the shape, him [Grealish] and Foden we get a nice one-two then off the back of this we get a free-kick because Jack Grealish is getting on the ball and trying to make things happen.”

And Eni Aluko rounded off by saying: “In wide areas Hungary have been really good, almost tripling up on Sterling but on the other side Grealish is going one-v-one, I think drawing fouls is going to be important.”

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