'Devastated' Maddison: I thought there would be a space for me


James Maddison says he is “devastated” not to make England’s final squad for Euro 2024, adding he felt he deserved a place as he “brings something different” to the team.

On Wednesday night, Tottenham’s Maddison became the first England player to be cut from the 33-player provisional squad and has left the camp, along with Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones.

Maddison tweeted on Thursday: “Devastated doesn’t quite cut it.

“Trained well and worked hard all week but if I’m honest with myself, my form for Spurs when coming back from injury in the second half of the season probably wasn’t at the levels I had set which gave Gareth a decision to make.

Gareth Southgate

“I still thought there would be a space for me in a 26-man squad as I feel I bring something different & had been a mainstay in this whole qualifying campaign for Euro 2024 in Germany but the manager has made the decision and I have to respect that.

“I’ll be back, I have no doubt. Wishing the boys all the luck in the world out in Germany, unbelievable group and lads that I literally call some of my best friends. I genuinely hope football comes home.

England manager Gareth Southgate has to cut his now-31-player preliminary squad down to 26 by 11pm on Friday – around an hour after England’s final Euro 2024 warm-up game against Iceland at Wembley.

England then begin their Euro 2024 campaign on June 16 against Serbia.

Maddison’s wait for a major tournament appearance with England goes on. The Tottenham midfielder made the final 2022 World Cup squad but failed to make an appearance before the Three Lions’ quarter-final exit.

Liverpool’s Jones – who has also left the camp – is yet to be capped by England.

‘Bad news for Maddison, good news for Grealish’

England's Jack Grealish waves at the end of an international friendly soccer match between England and Bosnia and Herzegovina at St. James Park in Newcastle, England, Monday, June 3, 2024. England won 3-0. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
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Jack Grealish’s Euro 2024 hopes have been boosted

Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett:

“The fact Maddison isn’t in the squad makes it look likely that Jack Grealish will be in. He and Maddison are considered straight left-wingers, as Maddison can’t play No 10 as he’s competing with Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden and now Eberechi Eze.

“Both are very similar players in that they attack defenders and win free-kicks. This is a case of bad news for Maddison, good news for Grealish.

“It’s devastating for Maddison. I know how much he wants to play for England and how committed he is.

“Just look what happened at Qatar in 2022 – there was a huge clamour for him as he was playing that well. Southgate took him but he picked up an injury and never really shook it off.

“He didn’t play a minute in the World Cup but I was told he was a fantastic influence around the camp. His big smile was evident across every day of that England camp.

“Southgate values that but he hasn’t been playing well enough for Spurs to command a place in what is the most competitive position in the England squad.”

Analysis: Maddison’s England exit no surprise

Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz:

With three goals and five assists in his first nine Premier League games for Tottenham, Maddison was on course for Player of the Season, let alone a spot in the England Euros squad.

He was a shoo-in nine months ago, but now he is the first to be omitted from this extended England group.

This is no surprise. His form has dropped off since that scintillating start for Spurs this season. The only Premier League goal contributions he made since March 10 came against Burnley and Sheffield United, while he was not given a starting role in a makeshift England line-up against Bosnia.

A three-month injury in the middle of the season halted his progress but his form has not recovered since, and there is a growing pattern in Maddison’s seasons. In the last five campaigns, he has started them strongly then tailed off. That is not ideal for a player hoping to make summer tournaments for his country.

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Perhaps the performances of Eze and Cole Palmer against Bosnia swayed Southgate’s thinking. Both players – who are attacking and wide-midfielder hybrids – impressed in the friendly and may have moved above Maddison in the pecking order.

And with Bellingham and Foden world-class options on top of that, it means the player who so many clamoured for to make the 2022 World Cup squad – and snuck in at the last minute – is the first to be cut from this Euros squad.



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