By Mark Smith

12th Oct, 2021 | 11:45am

Chris Sutton slams Kalvin Phillips for ball distribution in England squad

Chris Sutton has questioned the distribution of Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips in the current England squad.

Gareth Southgate handed Phil Foden a midfield role this week in the absence of the Yorkshire Pirlo, and he excelled against Andorra.

Sutton insists that the Three Lions were “stunted” by Phillips and Declan Rice while in possession during EURO 2020.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, Sutton was impressed defensively but wanted more from Phillips in one area.

“During Euro 2020, England were stunted by a lack of creativity from midfield against certain opponents,” he wrote. “Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips were a sturdy duo, defensively solid with sound positioning. 

“But there were times when we could have done with a passing range like Foden’s. Rice and Phillips would win the ball but I think it’s fair to say they weren’t the best with it.

“There was a lack of direct supply line into the forwards. The possession felt a little safe.”


One thing that is always guaranteed in England is that there will be an overreacting to good performances when a tactical change is made.

Yes, Foden is an outrageous talent and he had a good game last week, but we need to remember that it was against Andorra, who had players on the pitch over the age of 40.

Without Phillips, England wouldn’t have won their first game against Croatia in the tournament as he won the ball back, beat a few men and then put it on a plate for Raheem Sterling.

Can Foden deliver defensively in games against better nations such as the likes of Germany in major tournaments? It is hard to believe that Southgate wouldn’t revert to Phillips and Rice in the midfield.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Again…’ – BBC pundit blasts this Whites star after what he saw him do in past 24 hours