Paul Merson reveals theory about why Jack Grealish was snubbed from England’s Euro 2024 squad

PAUL MERSON has revealed his stunning theory on why Gareth Southgate did not select Jack Grealish in his Euro 2024 England squad.

The Three Lions have laboured to four points in Group C after a 1-0 win over Serbia and 1-1 draw with Denmark.

GettyJack Grealish’s omission from the England team came down to reasons more than form[/caption]

Football’s Greatest PodPaul Merson revealed his theory that Gareth Southgate’s decision was down to avoiding conflict[/caption]

GettyMerson believes the likes of Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon would not raise their voice against not getting minutes[/caption]

This has seen them top the group and put them on track for a spot in the knockouts, but the performances have not been without criticism, with the lack of attacking flair a common point.

Phil Foden has been selected to play on the left wing with Bukayo Saka on the right and Jude Bellingham tucked behind captain Harry Kane.

Following the toothless displays there have been calls to select one of Anthony Gordon or Cole Palmer to freshen up the frontline.

Meanwhile, the axing of Grealish, 28, from the 26-player final squad has also been questioned following his inclusion in the 33-player provisional squad.

However, former Arsenal star Merson has revealed his theory as to why the £100million Manchester City star was not brought to Germany.

Appearing on Football’s Greatest Pod alongside legendary presenter Jeff Stelling, Merson was asked about the thoughts of Gordon and Palmer’s zero minutes so far, revealing a theory about avoiding conflict in the camp.

The 56-year-old said: “That’s why they’re there and Jack Grealish is not there. Because Jack, I imagine, would be going mad now. I can’t imagine Gordon and Palmer saying anything.

“I just imagine them sitting there, just saying to himself; ‘Well, maybe I should be getting on’.


“I don’t see him saying anything to him. I could see a Grealish going to Gareth and going; ‘Why am I not playing?’”

Merson, who earned 21 England caps, also had his say on the decision to sub all three players of the attack against Denmark for Eberechi Eze, Jarrod Bowen and Ollie Watkins.

He continued: “I think he brings on Eze, who’s one of our most gifted players to do a job, he’s running back.

“He puts Bowen on the other side, Bowen’s alright if you want to keep a lead, you know if we’re winning like we were last week [against Serbia].

“We’re one-nil up, you put him out on the right, he’ll do what it says on the tin, get up and down, block crosses, get crosses in.

“But you don’t put him on to win a game in my opinion. You know there’s horses for courses.


ENGLAND stumbled to a drab 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Here’s how SunSport’s Tom Barclay rated the Three Lions team.

Jordan Pickford: 6

Looked a little jittery early doors, though there was nothing he could do about Morten Hjulmand’s corker and he made a decent parry after the break.

Kyle Walker: 7 

Made England’s opener by racing round a sleeping Victor Kristiansen – he’ll be having nightmares of that forevermore – and teeing up Kane via a deflected cross.

John Stones: 6

OK but you have got to wonder how fit he feels having barely played for Man City in the second half of the season, plus his injury and illness issues over the last month.

Marc Guehi: 8 and my star man

Really encouraging again from the Crystal Palace centre-back, looking sharp with his interceptions and assured in distribution.

Kieran Trippier: 6

Like Stones, he was fine, but England really need Luke Shaw back ASAP because having no natural left-footer at left-back is a problem.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5

This experiment of playing Trent in midfield is far from convincing, especially when his passing was off it like it was here, barring one good ball to Saka. Subbed on 54 minutes.

Declan Rice: 5

Had to cover so much ground as England dropped worryingly deep in the first half and also lost it a few times in front of his back four.

Bukayo Saka: 7

Not quite as electric as his first half against Serbia, but another solid showing from our right winger who has been our most consistent attacker across the two games.

Jude Bellingham: 6

Nowhere near the majestic display he put in against Serbia and one of many who looked tired.

Phil Foden: 7

Was far more involved than against Serbia – although that was not hard – and had a few dangerous efforts from range, including one that smacked the post after the break.

Harry Kane: 6

Netted his 64th goal for his country with an opener he could not really miss, but then gave the ball away from Denmark’s leveller. Surprisingly subbed.


Conor Gallagher (on for Trent, 54): 7

Vital clearance on the stretch when Christian Eriksen was lurking and was not afraid to put his foot in.

Ollie Watkins (on for Kane, 70): 6

Played in by Bellingham’s lovely ball after coming on but could not finish from an acute angle.

Jarrod Bowen (on for Foden, 69): 6

Copped a nasty tackle which saw Joakim Maehle booked.

Eberechi Eze (on for Saka, 69): 6

On for his tournament bow though he was rarely involved.

“You’ve got to put Palmer on, he scored 20 goals this season. You know he can play with that bit of flair. Eze gets on and he doesn’t touch the ball hardly, there’s no plan.

“You know I would play Watkins but I’d have to keep Kane in the team. I’d have to find a way because you know you have to keep world class players on the football pitch.”

On his decision to axe Grealish, Southgate said: “I have just delivered a really difficult conversation to a lad who is devastated. I think the world of him as a kid.

“It certainly doesn’t get any easier. You put yourself in the shoes of a player, a parent.

Pundits and legends lay into England

ENGLAND’s lifeless display in the 1-1 draw with Denmark left pundits and legends queuing up to take a dig at Gareth Southgate’s team.

Here’s the best of what was said…


“Awful performance, particularly after going up in the game.

“I don’t think one England player can look at themselves and say, ‘I’ve done my job tonight’.

“England were all over the place, far too sloppy in possession, gave the ball away too much and got caught too many times.

“There was no energy, no pace, no guile — Southgate is simply not getting the best out of England’s best players.

“It’s concerning and Gareth will get some serious questions.

“You saw England players lying on their backs — they look absolutely shattered but there’s no excuse for that.”


The BBC host called the performance “lifeless and tepid”.

On Harry Kane he said: “He needs his manager to ask more of him. I would have expected that if I’d put in that kind of performance.”


“The players don’t look the same as they do for their clubs. It is a big concern.”


“Courage and bravery, we’re not really seeing it.

“There’s something amiss with the balance. Bellingham is waving his arms.

“This is a big test for Gareth. It looks like he’s overthinking things.”


“My big worry watching this and for the rest of the tournament?

“England look absolutely knackered. They can’t get close to the ball.

“The surest sign of fatigue is dropping deep.

“Declan Rice is having to cover so much ground. No-one can convince me this is a strategy.”


“It’s strange that we have taken the lead in both games so far, yet instead of it settling us down and giving us the confidence to play, we have failed to take control.

“But what was most worrying was that Denmark had a clear way of playing — while we didn’t.”

“You understand that for these players this is a devastating moment. We knew we had a couple of really difficult days coming up.

“The whole period has been tough, going back to talking to Marcus Rashford and Hendo (Jordan Henderson). Lots of difficult calls. But we have worked through all of that.”

Grealish was said to have been shocked by the decision to leave him out of the team, while Three Lions stars were also understood to have left taken aback by the call.

The former Aston Villa star reportedly cut his holiday short to return early for his club’s pre-season.

Southgate has since bemoaned both a lack of physical fitness in the team which has left England unable to press how they would like and the lack of a Kalvin Phillip’s profile in centre midfield.

England play Slovenia in their final group game tomorrow.

If they fail to win the game and top Group C, the Three Lions will face tournament hosts Germany in the last-16 before a possible match with Spain in the quarter-finals.

RexSouthgate said it was a ‘difficult conversation’ to tell Grealish he was dropped[/caption]


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *