Cesc Fabregas urges Phil Foden to 'step up' his England performances after Serbia win in Euro 2024 opener... as Micah Richards laments 'sad' showing from the Man City midfielder

Foden played the full 90 minutes as England beat Serbia on Sunday eveningThe midfielder struggled in what was a dogged Three Lions attacking showingLISTEN to It's All Kicking Off! How Southgate made it enjoyable to play for England again

Cesc Fabregas has urged Phil Foden to 'step up' following his performance against Serbia.

The Manchester City midfielder played the whole game for England in their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia on Sunday night, starting on the left of a four-man attack.

England started well, but faded as the game went on, somewhat holding on late in the game to leave eyebrows raised following the match in Gelsenkirchen given England's favourites tag.

Foden played alongside Jude Bellingham - England's goal scorer - Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, but England struggled to threaten as the game progressed and Serbia chased an equaliser.

Speaking as a pundit on BBC for the game, Fabregas picked out Foden in particular for criticism, issuing a rally cry for the Premier League Player of the Season to up his game for his country.

Cesc Fabregas has urged Phil Foden (pictured) to 'step up' his game when playing for England

Cesc Fabregas has urged Phil Foden (pictured) to 'step up' his game when playing for England

Fabregas (pictured) analysed England's performance in their opening Euro 2024 match against Serbia

Fabregas (pictured) analysed England's performance in their opening Euro 2024 match against Serbia

England struggled on the ball throughout the game but managed to get three points on the board in their Euro opener

England struggled on the ball throughout the game but managed to get three points on the board in their Euro opener

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'You just say mindset? No, it's all about the mentality,' Fabregas began. 'You cannot tell me that players like Trent, like Foden, like Bellingham, like Rice, they don't have the quality to hold the ball anywhere in the pitch.

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'It's about do you want it enough to make a difference and hold the ball for your team? Do you want to make things happen? Do you enjoy to get the ball under pressure?

'They allowed them to have the ball when they were deep once in the second half, straight away, when they started to get pressed a little bit more, we started to see Foden hitting the ball without looking 40 yards. Trent, this not like them.

'You'll never see Xavi, Iniesta, the top, top players in the last 15, 20, years, do that. You need to take this responsibility to grow. I think that the second half was a little bit underwhelming. I would say that is the right word. And I think players like Foden, they need to step up. This is the time for them to go into big tournament with their country behind them.'

Foden had received criticism for his performances in the build-up to the game, having shone for City but seemingly struggled to step it up for England.

He was largely anonymous again on Sunday, with England's attack struggling throughout following their early goal.

Micah Richards, a fan and former player of City, also speaking on BBC, gave a heartfelt analysis of the 24-year-old's showing.

Foden recently won the Premier League again with Manchester City and was crowned the division's Player of the Season

Foden recently won the Premier League again with Manchester City and was crowned the division's Player of the Season

Micah Richards admitted it is 'sad' that England struggle to get the best out of the midfielder

Micah Richards admitted it is 'sad' that England struggle to get the best out of the midfielder

'It makes me sad that a player of his quality is just in and out of the game,' he said. 'It's just disappointing we're not able to get the best out of him.'

He went onto compare his efforts to those of Paul Scholes, who was ushered out wide in an era where he was competing with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard for midfield spots.

'It didn't work at all,' he said of Scholes' involvement. 'I totally agree with Cesc at this moment, Bellingham smells the opportunity to be the main man. But with the quality of Foden, it's just disappointing that we're not being able to get the best out of him.

'He played in the No 10 role in the Iceland game. He didn't play very well, but I would like to get more opportunities in that role.'

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