Maddison, Grealish & Foden: Gareth Southgate England’s Great Conundrum

Quite a number of England’s former managers have had the luxury of solving the conundrum of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard midfield partnership in their active days, but couldn’t make heads-way in achieving that for the two most decorated midfielders who struggled to fit into a formation which allowed them to play in tandem.

In every football team, the midfield position is the engine room that carries the team into delivering impeccable results. As such for every player that wants to assume that role, such player would be responsible in orchestrating the team play from the middle of the pack.

Ahead of future football competition for England, the impressive form of Maddison, Grealish, and Foden is one gigantic conundrum Southgate needs to solve in no time.

Maddison, Grealish & Foden: Gareth Southgate England’s Great Conundrum

The great form of these amazing players it’s the kind of dilemma a manager would like to have, most especially ahead of an important competition. However as good as it’s sounds, blending the trio into a team is one big task on the hands of the manager.

Last year the trio of Maddison, Grealish and Foden did had a great season in the Premier League, this year again with their amazing form with their respective clubs it seems their much ready for national team assignment under Southgate.

Jorden Henderson is undoubtedly one of the trusted lieutenants of Southgate when fully fit, while other midfield cast also comes in when available as well.

However, as Southgate continues to build a formidable England’s team on experience, quality, and youth there is a need for him to know his trusted lieutenants in midfield ahead of future tournaments.

Maddison, Grealish,& Phil Foden: Gareth Southgate England’s Conundrum

James Maddison

James Maddison, Jack Grealish, & Phil Foden: Gareth Southgate England's Conundrum

Creativity is one great attribute a good midfielder shouldn’t lack in a team, as such a brilliant midfielder who has these quality is always well sought after in football especially in this era where emphasis are placed on technical ability.

Without mincing word the Leicester City man his one talented player who has the quality, spark and ingenuity to create something different when in possession of the ball especially in difficult areas. Maddison also has the ability to make the right decisions in the final third, plus the eyes for goal when faced with the opportunity.

Having a player who could help in unlocking the defence of a difficult opposition is very key in football.

In that regard with Maddison in your team the fear of unlocking such defence shouldn’t be entertain because he surely has the quality to provide that creative spark for team, which apparently he’s been doing for Leicester City.

Having highlighted his strengths as a creative midfielder, there is a need to look at his weaknesses as well. As impeccable as Maddison’s creativity and vision on the ball is, his weaknesses is one area he needs to work on which is his defensive output.

Maddison’s defensive output hasn’t been quite encouraging, although his time at Norwich suggested he isn’t a player that helps his team defensively. However for him to grow in lips and bound as a complete midfielder, he definitely needs to adept his game at working back defensively.

In that sense, for Maddison to be one of England’s lieutenants he needs to work on his defensive ability, because there might be need for it in some difficult moments and that could be the missing piece in his game quality as a player.

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Jack Grealish

James Maddison, Jack Grealish, & Phil Foden: Gareth Southgate England's Conundrum

The emergence of Grealish has been a rapid one back at Aston Villa, maturing into a brilliant player that has consistently add new dimension to the attacking style of the team.

In England’s previous matches they’ve lacked a creative midfielder in the mold of Maddison, Grealish and perhaps Foden.

But in Grealish, is that type of player that is well blessed with precious ability to unlock the tightest of defences, something the English national team have lacked in recent time.

The recent phenomenal form of the Aston Villa captain suggest he should consistently be making the list of England’s team to important tournaments, compared to the little opportunity he’s been given to play for the Three Lion with just five caps.

Having said that, let’s have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the amazing Aston Villa captain who without doubt his one of the three players who are a big problem for Southgate.

Grealish has been operating as a left winger with his club, drifting from the central to the left wing in other to create space and width for the left back.

The Aston Villa man is absolutely a player that can do a little bit of everything on the ball, he’s got a good eyes for goal, defence splitting pass, fine shot, and his able to cross the length of the field quickly with his ability to hold the ball at his feet.

With the fact that he could play comfortably as winger and as an attacking midfielder is a big plus for any manager who has Grealish in his team.

His weaknesses are quite few and it could be control by his manager and colleagues especially the experience ones like Jorden Henderson whom he respected a lot.

Grealish weaknesses has to be his temper, and he’s very quick to frustration which could get him booked when things isn’t going smoothly with his team, as such a player with such challenge needs lot of pep talk from his manager.

In the attacking face he surely knows how to disorganize a team defence with his usage of the ball in open spaces, however his defensive ability isn’t that top notch even though he has tried to do his part at Villa when faced with a domineering opponent.

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Phil Foden

James Maddison, Jack Grealish, & Phil Foden: Gareth Southgate England's Conundrum

Academy products hasn’t quite found it easy to walk into the Manchester City star studded team in recent years. In the past Micah Richards was one of just a handful of graduates from the academy to be given a chance.

While huge spending has been the order of the day in City, a certain academy graduate Foden has shown the City faithful that academy product could also play an important role in the team if talented and ready to grab his opportunity.

Foden strengths as a creative midfielder is quite amazing, is excellent at carrying the ball past opposition after drawing them in is out of this world.

His creativity and vision also stand out in making sure his team play a purposeful style. The youngster also has the ability to protect the ball well and is rarely dispossessed, a good side of his game that availed him the opportunity to get more playing time under Pep Guardiola.

Looking at his weaknesses as Southgate looks to solve the dilemma of having him in his team with others. Though the City man is still very young, and as a matter of fact if you’re good there’s nothing like been too young, however the only that could prove to be a stumbling block is the level of experience he’s been able to garner professional aside that youngster should be in Southgate’s team.


With the in flocks of talents currently aplenty in the England’s team, it’s now left to the manager Gareth Southgate to solve the conundrum in blending them into a formidable team that could rival any top team in world football.

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