Published 09 June 2021 3 min read
England Men's Senior Team
Foden fresh for EURO challenge
After the season he’s had it’s no surprise the whole country is talking about Phil Foden, although it’s his hair that is getting more attention than his football at the moment.
The 21 year old rocked up to St. George’s Park on Tuesday with a new blond look that has drawn comparisons to Paul Gascoigne at UEFA EURO 1996.
Despite the flattering assimilation, the newly-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year was quick to rebuke any suggestions that his new hairstyle was an imitation of Gascoigne, and rather a product of his own conjuring.
Gazza’s goal in England’s 2-0 group-stage win over Scotland back in ‘96 went down in folklore and with Gareth Southgate’s side set to meet the Scots at Wembley once again this time around, Foden may well have just written the first chapter of his own script.
“I've had the same haircut for what seems like ages now,” he said. “I thought I'd just try something new and then I woke up this morning to a lot of comparisons to Gazza and Eminem. But it was my own thing and then people turned it into something else.
“I remember watching highlights on the TV of Gazza, an unbelievable player. The whole nation knows what he means to this country and what he did, so it won't be too bad if I try and bring a bit of Gazza on the pitch.”
Foden’s development at club level has been carefully monitored by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola but this season the forward gave his manager no choice but to select him in the biggest games.
The end result was 16 goals in 50 appearances for City as they were crowned Premier League champions and he also collected a pair of England goals against Iceland at Wembley to open his account for the national team.
With so much talent around him at club level, Foden has developed in a world-class environment and looks at the current England set up in the same way, despite Guardiola and Southgate having different management styles.
“I feel sorry for Gareth trying to pick an eleven,” he added. “Whoever he leaves out is always going to be top quality, so whatever he does the lads are going to be behind him and just believe in him.
“I think that we have a great balance in the squad and I think that we look really strong for this tournament and why not, we could win it.
“They are really different [Guardiola and Southgate]. Gareth's great and talks to everyone and lets you know how he's feeling about you and where you can improve so I've had a couple of conversations with him and he's great to talk to.
“He's always putting his arm around the players which is important.”
11 May 2021 7:00
Foden watches back grassroots footage
England's Phil Foden and Kalvin Phillips take a look at your best grassroots football footage