Why is England manager Gareth Southgate treating Mason Mount like his favourite son?

Ollie Irish

12th, November 2020

It’s the international break. Yay… You can’t hear me? I said, YAY. /s

So here’s a thing. Gareth Southgate is on a massive wind-up. When the England manager was asked about everyone in the country except him shouting for Jack Grealish to start games, he said:

I suppose you’re referring to Mason [Mount] whose only crime is not to be Jack at the moment. But I’m also aware I should talk about Mason because then it keeps the memes going of me talking about Mason.

What the actual. How is this smug, insincere answer appropriate? It does Grealish a disservice, it puts Mount in the awkward position of being the teacher’s pet, but most of all it makes Southgate look like an utter tosser, and for all his failings, being a tosser was not previously one of them. It’s as if the England boss has decided he wants to do as much as he possibly can to turn people against him before the inevitable quarter-final exit at the Euros next summer.

The thing is, it’s not as if there isn’t a case for Mount over Grealish: The Chelsea man is playing really well, he’s more athletic and dynamic than Grealish, and has his best years in front of him. Grealish is 25 – you suspect he should have nailed down an England starting role by now, and perhaps if he was playing for a bigger club than Villa, he would have. But talking to the media about Mason Mount memes is not the way to make that case.

Hoddle, Le Tissier, and now Grealish. There is a link. Sometimes it really do be like that.

Posted in England

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