Former Manchester City player and manager Stuart Pearce has left out Phil Foden from his chosen starting XI for England’s World Cup campaign.
Explaining his decision, Pearce said that Foden has not been able to replicate his form at club level when representing his country, so he opted for a front four of captain Harry Kane, Chelsea pair Raheem Sterling & Mason Mount and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka instead:
“It lends itself to a 4-2-3-1 formation. In goal, Pickford. Across the back four; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw. Rice and Bellingham. And a front-three behind Harry Kane would be Saka, Mount and Sterling… With Foden, I think he’s done better for Man City than he has for England. And I see [Bukayo] Saka, [Mason] Mount and [Raheem] Sterling ahead of him.”
It is a slightly harsh comment from Pearce as Foden’s performances for England are not that much worse than when he plays at club level. If we look at his goals & assist ratio, you don’t see a sizeable difference in terms of his contributions.
For City, he has 88 goal involvements in 184 appearances, which means he is scoring or creating a goal every two matches on average. For England, that ratio goes up only slightly to 2.25. In any case, it will be Gareth Southgate, not Pearce, who will be deciding who starts against Iran on November 21st.