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Mark Goldbridge: Gareth Southgate’s Jordan Henderson trip was lazy, he should be watching Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo and Chelsea’s Cole Palmer



Mark Goldbridge: Gareth Southgate's Jordan Henderson trip was lazy, he should be watching Manchester United's Kobbie Mainoo and Chelsea's Cole Palmer

In an exclusive column for, Mark Goldbridge questions Gareth Southgate’s decision to watch Jordan Henderson’s Ajax debut, his ‘lazy’ approach to managing England and how he must start scouting younger stars.

I can’t get my head around Gareth Southgate as an England manager so I’m going to struggle to get my head around what he does as a scout.


Southgate was in the stands to watch Henderson make his Ajax debut last weekendCredit: AFP

I think England should win the Euros at a canter, I think we’ve got so many good players, I was doing a debate about [Bukayo] Saka and [Phil] Foden.

And you think, ‘Hold on a minute,’ from an England point of view we’re having this conversation, there’s so many quality players.

Kobbie Mainoo, Cole Palmer, I’ve been really impressed by Conor Gallagher in a bad Chelsea team.

There’s so many players, and Jordan Henderson was getting picked when he was in Saudi, he’s basically retiring for money and he still gets picked for England.

Kalvin Phillips is still getting picked for England when he’s played less than 90 minutes before Christmas – and is back on the bench at West Ham.

Gareth Southgate will probably – and hopefully – win the Euros, but the way he does it isn’t as good as it should be done.

Jordan Henderson shouldn’t be in an England team.

It baffles me how he is the biggest shirt selling player at Ajax, this is a club that has produced absolute legends of the game.

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Goldbridge believes Southgate should no way be taking Henderson to Euro 2024


Goldbridge believes Southgate should no way be taking Henderson to Euro 2024Credit: Getty

And they’ve embarrassed themselves by breaking records for Jordan Henderson’s shirt – they must have had a 90 per cent discount – it doesn’t make any sense to me.

Henderson has been a good player, but Mainoo, Gallagher, James Ward-Prowse, they’re delivering in the biggest and best league in the world.

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And he’s going after people like Phillips and Henderson, but that’s Southgate for you, he’s ridiculously loyal I suppose.

But for me, nepotism isn’t the way to be successful and I think there are so many better players than Jordan Henderson.

You talk about the environment, what a waste of a flight.

I personally think Southgate is a very limited and tunnel-visioned manager, who knows he is going to qualify for every tournament because the team is too good, and then when he gets to a tournament thinks he can do it with what he’s got.

I really genuinely think if international football was stronger and we weren’t tipped to get out of our group, he wouldn’t be using Henderson and Phillips.

He’d have to do his job, he’d have to go, ‘Well I am going to have a look at Fikayo Tomori [in Italy] because he’s been doing well for ages. I am going to have a look at James Ward-Prowse and this, that and the other’.

I just think he is a lazy coach, it’s really lazy to just pick players that were good two or three years ago and say, ‘I’ll stick with them’.

Henderson and Phillips could be named in the Three Lions' Euro squad despite being out of form


Henderson and Phillips could be named in the Three Lions’ Euro squad despite being out of formCredit: Getty

It’s a lazy approach to managing England and it should still be enough to win the Euros, and then everyone will go, ‘Well he was right’.

But I think most people who know football know that England team could be a lot better, but he’s going to do it at a certain level with his nepotism.

It would have been good for us if there was more of a challenge as he would then have to do his job.

He doesn’t go on form, he goes on friendship and that’s not the way to run any club.

But he might get away with it for England because we’ve got such a big and vast amount of talent at the moment.

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