Leicester City lost to West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium to leave the Foxes’ place in the top four very precarious heading into the final few weeks of the season. But perhaps just as big a story as the result on the pitch was what happened off it, as Maddison, along with a number of other players, were dropped from the side for breaching team protocols.
Maddison’s season, and subsequent form, has already been disrupted through injury in the past few months, with the 24-year-old needing every game he can get in order to impress the England boss ahead of this summer’s tournament.
And speaking on the TalkSport Gameday podcast, Ashton felt that Maddison was already fighting an uphill battle to get into the team, but this latest act just confirms that he won’t be going:
“I think that’s the final straw, I would have thought, for Gareth Southgate. I think that Maddison had a tough job anyway convincing Gareth Southgate to put him in his Euros squad. And I think that’ll probably be the final straw no matter how he plays till the end of the season. Because Jesse Lingard has been so good, and he’s already talked about wanting some experience of tournament football in his squad. So I think it’s a big, wrong decision from James.”
Is James Maddison Leicester's most important player?
TIF Thoughts on Dean Ashton’s comments about James Maddison for England…
It certainly doesn’t help Maddison’s cause for an England place, but Ashton might be going a bit too far when he says that it’s more or less out of reach for him.
It just means that Maddison is going to have to play incredibly hard when he gets back and blitz through the rest of the season. If he is on form then he will give Southgate something to think about, much like Lingard’s form got him an England call. And if it’s a discipline issue, then look no further than Phil Foden who was out and then back in the England squad after his incident.
So it’s not over yet, but there is certainly no more room for slip-ups.