Jack Grealish says criticism of England boss Gareth Southgate was ‘very harsh’

England winger Jack Grealish (left) and national team manager Gareth Southgate
Grealish is expected to be part of Southgate’s squad for the 2022 World Cup

Criticism of England manager Gareth Southgate this summer was “very harsh”, Jack Grealish has said.

England failed to win any of their four Nations League games in June, including 1-0 and 4-0 defeats by Hungary.

However, Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and a first European Championship final in 2021.

“I thought it was harsh but sometimes that’s what you get if you’re English. I’ve had my fair share,” Manchester City winger Grealish said.

“We reached the [Euro 2020] final last year – then [there was] the [loss to] Hungary at the start of the last camp, but before that the last time we’d lost a game over 90 minutes was Belgium in November 2020.”

England drew with Italy and Germany either side of the defeats by Hungary in internationals at the end of the last league season.

After the four games, Football Association chairwoman Debbie Hewitt insisted English football’s governing body has confidence in Southgate.

Grealish was speaking prior to England’s Nations League games against Italy on Friday and Germany three days later, which are the team’s last fixtures before the 2022 World Cup.

The attacking midfielder, who was signed for £100m by City from Aston Villa, also responded to remarks from club team-mate Kevin de Bruyne who suggested that English players are treated more harshly in the media.

“I can obviously see where he’s coming from a little bit,” said Grealish.

“But I think that’s just the way it is in this country, especially if you’re myself, playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, who are winning trophies every single year.

“Obviously when I have the price tag on my head that I have, people are going to want to talk. It’s just something that I need to [get on with].

“I keep going back to it, saying embrace it and it’s just part and parcel, but I do see where he’s coming from a little bit.”