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Jack Grealish left 'stunned and upset' by England Euro 2024 axe

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JACK GREALISH was reportedly left “stunned and upset” following his axe from England’s final Euro 2024 squad.

Grealish, 28, was one of seven players who failed to make the cut as Gareth Southgate trimmed his 33-man squad down to 26 yesterday.

Jack Grealish has been left 'stunned and upset' after he was axed from the England squad

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Jack Grealish has been left ‘stunned and upset’ after he was axed from the England squadCredit: AFP
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate announced his 26-man squad yesterday

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Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate announced his 26-man squad yesterdayCredit: Getty

The Manchester City stay joined James Maddison, Harry Maguire, Curtis Jones, Jarrel Quansah, Jarrad Branthwaite and James Trafford in being sent home early by Southgate.

And according to The Telegraph, Grealish was both stunned and upset by his omission.

The winger is understood to have believed he had done enough to make the cut after an encouraging cameo off the bench on Monday against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While he also arrived at England‘s training camp early.

Despite his feelings towards the decision, it is reported that Grealish handled his exit “professionally” and passed on his best wishes to the players and staff ahead of the tournament.

Grealish wasn’t the only player that was left shocked by Southgate’s decision to leave him out of the 26.

It’s said that one senior player even approached the Three Lions boss to better understand the reasoning behind the decision.

Reports suggest that there was no heated row or argument between the player and Southgate, and that the star was seeking an explanation to pass on to the rest of the squad.

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The squad as a whole were said to have been “left shocked” by the decision with a number of teammates heading to Grealish’s room after he had been informed of the manager’s decision.

Grealish, who featured at both Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, is yet to publicly make a comment surrounding his exit.

England make their official Euros 2024 squad announcement

While Southgate explained his decision in his press conference yesterday, saying: “All the players took the decisions respectfully.

“And all the players believe they should be in, that’s why they’re all top players with that mindset.

“We have some players that have performed extremely well this season and other players have had stronger seasons.

“In the attacking positions we’re blessed with a lot of options and Madders [James Maddison] and Jack give us something different.

“They were tough calls, but we back our decisions but recognise we could’ve gone a different route. It was sad to have to deliver that news to them.”

Reports have also suggested that Grealish was made to wait to discover his fate as a teammate underwent a late fitness check.

Newcastle star Anthony Gordon, who has been nursing an ankle problem, passed a late fitness test on Thursday morning – pushing Grealish’s exit back until after that checkup.

What Southgate said about axed England stars

WHAT Gareth Southgate said about his axed England stars after confirming his 26-man England squad for Euro 2024.

Harry Maguire

“The decision on Harry [Maguire] is totally about his physical condition and his recovery from the injury. There is no other reason as he is one of our strongest centre-backs.

“Harry has made some progress, but it’s been complicated and we wouldn’t have had him in the group stages. There were too many hurdles to get through without being clear where we might get to.

“Knowing we haven’t got a clean bill of health across the rest of the backline, we need players who are fit and ready to go from the start.

“It was a really difficult call, you know how I feel about Harry, what he’s done for England and for me as a manager. “

Jack Grealish

“I have just delivered a really difficult conversation to a lad who is devastated.

“I think the world of him as a kid.“It certainly doesn’t get any easier.

“You put yourself in the shoes of a player, a parent. You understand that for these players this is a devastating moment.

“We knew we had a couple of really difficult days coming up.”

James Maddison

“Madders [Maddison] and Jack [Grealish] would have provided us with something different as well and they’ve been tough calls.

“They’re calls we’ve gone over and over and over as a group of staff to try to be fair and to try to use the right rationale.

“We back our decisions but we recognise we could have gone a different route. The boys are big characters, fabulous team-mates and great boys to work with.

“It’s sad to have to deliver that news to them.”

Jarrad Branthwaite

“It’s a bit early for Jarrad [Branthwaite]. He has had a fabulous season, it was good to get him on the pitch the other night.

“But of course, in an ideal world, you’d like that balance of left-footers. For him to be in ahead of the others, I don’t think it would have been the right call at this stage.”

Jarell Quansah

“Jarell Quansah has stayed with us. He’s not had the experience of an England international at Wembley. It’ll be great for him to be us for the game.

“Hopefully we’re not needing to call anyone else in.”

Southgate explained the delayed decision in his press conference.

He said: “There were one or two injury things that we had to confirm through training just to be certain.

“I tried to tell them all as early as I could.

“I knew exactly last night where we were with James [Maddison] and didn’t want him to be hanging on and training when I knew I could tell him. I couldn’t do that with Jack until this morning.”

Grealish failed to live up to his own high standards for Man City this season and made just 10 starts in the Premier League.

Southgate avoided the subject when questioned if Grealish’s form had fallen below the required level.

He said: “I don’t think today would be a good day to talk about the bigger picture. I don’t think that would be fair.

“I have just delivered a really difficult conversation to a lad who is devastated. I think the world of him as a kid. Yes. I am not going to go any broader than that.”

England now face Iceland tonight in their final friendly before jetting out to Germany ahead of the tournament.

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Gareth Southgate will take the handbrake off at Euro 2024… because he has no choice

By Charlie Wyett

GARETH SOUTHGATE will have no choice but to take the handbrake off his England team at Euro 2024.

The defensive crisis gripping the Three Lions means the only option in Germany, within ­reason, will be outright attack.

Southgate has often been lambasted for his safety-first approach — even if he points out you must go back to Walter Winterbottom’s sides in the 1950s to find an England manager with a better scoring record.

But with the crocked Harry Maguire left out, Luke Shaw not fit enough to start the tournament and John Stones having made just 12 ­Premier League starts this season, this is not a defence you would stake your life on.

The last time England went to a major tournament in Germany — the 2006 World Cup — the four centre-backs selected were Sol Campbell (68 caps), Rio Ferdinand (47), Jamie Carragher (25) and John Terry (24).

This time, when England fly out on Monday, the quartet will be Lewis Dunk (six), Joe Gomez (14), Marc Guehi (ten) and Ezri Konsa (three).

It makes Southgate’s decision not to recall the 49-cap Eric Dier for his ­provisional squad even stranger — especially considering his strong end to the season with Bayern Munich.

The elder statesman in his defence — and the one who absolutely has to stay fit — is 71-cap Stones.

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