Gary Lineker reveals he 'disagrees' with Gareth Southgate after England battle to nervy Serbia win

Gary Lineker England Serbia

Gary Lineker says he 'disagrees' with Gareth Southgate after England's Euro 2024 win over Serbia

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 17/06/2024

- 10:00

Updated: 17/06/2024

- 10:14

The BBC presenter has addressed the result in Gelsenkirchen

Gary Lineker has revealed he 'disagrees' with Gareth Southate's explanation for substituting Trent Alexander-Arnold during England's 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday night.

The Three Lions picked up all three points courtesy of Jude Bellingham, with the Real Madrid star heading home the winner in the 13th minute.

In the 69th minute, Southgate opted to hook Alexander-Arnold - with Chelsea star Conor Gallagher coming on in his place.

The England boss later explained his decision by saying his side required 'fresh legs' in order to close out the game.

Gary Lineker England Serbia

Gary Lineker says he 'disagrees' with Gareth Southgate after England's Euro 2024 win over Serbia


But Lineker thinks Southgate got that decision wrong, saying: "The one thing they weren’t doing was keeping the ball and suddenly you brought on a player who is less likely to keep the ball [Gallagher] which is odd.

"But he [Gareth] said in his interview after that game, 'I needed protection, I needed the legs', but I disagree with him.

"I think we needed someone to actually calm down.

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"[Jarrod] Bowen is an obvious change for [Bukayo] Saka, there’s no real change there. Saka is obviously a better overall player and I thought Saka played really well."

Lineker also thinks England have a decision to make when it comes to the left wing of their attack.

Phil Foden, a No 10 by trade, struggled to make much of an impact - in stark contrast to Bukayo Saka on the opposite flank.

England Gareth Southgate Trent Alexander Arnold

England boss Gareth Southgate substituted Trent Alexander-Arnold during his side's Euro 2024 win over Serbia on Sunday


England have Anthony Gordon and Eberechi Eze, of Newcastle and Crystal Palace respectively, as natural left-wingers.

But Southgate opted to bring on Jarrod Bowen instead, with the West Ham forward impressing during his cameo.

Lineker added: "It will be interesting to see how Gareth manages that situation on the left-hand side because you’ve got an obvious player on the left-hand side with [Anthony] Gordon, [Eberechi] Eze as well. There’s so much talent in that team!

"It’s a little bit exacerbating when they suddenly get 1-0 in front and it’s a criticism levelled at Gareth a lot about that fact he gets ahead and the team, whether it’s by instructions or whatever, but for some reason we do tend to sit back.

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"There’s almost a side of the human condition where you want to defend something when you’ve got it, but when your strength is keeping the ball and going forward and being calm, then suddenly sitting back when you can’t get out… it was a strange game."

England have been criticised for their flat performance in Gelsenkirchen.

But Lineker believes the Three Lions will come good in due course as they look to win the European Championships for the first time.

"It’s three points, we’ve got to remember that. I don’t think there’s any reason really to be depressed," he continued.

Jude Bellingham

England star Jude Bellingham was the star of the show during the Three Lions' 1-0 win over Serbia


"I played in so many tournaments where we eventually performed brilliantly even though it might not have worked for us.

"I can think of the ‘90 semi-final where we lost on penalties, where we started the tournament awfully and found our feet.

"You do find your feet in a tournament. The first game is difficult, everyone is edgy and you don’t want to lose. I don’t think it really makes that much difference on where England will finish.

"There were a few things to be positive about and a few things to be negative about, but every game is different and then suddenly you find a little spark and the world’s a better place."


England are next in action against Denmark on Tuesday (5pm).

The Three Lions beat the Danes 2-1 at Euro 2020, with Harry Kane scoring the winner from the penalty spot.

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