By Noel Whelan

21st Jun, 2021 | 8:00pm

Whelan tears Phillips' critics to shreds with West Ham player dig

Those who criticise Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips “probably don’t even watch him.”

That is according to ex-Whites forward Noel Whelan speaking exclusively to Football Insider after England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland on 18th June.

Phillips started the match in midfield just as he did for England’s 1-0 win against Croatia five days earlier.

The 25-year-old midfielder won plaudits for his performance in the first Euros group stage game but has attracted some criticism for his showing against Scotland.

Whelan claims that Phillips did not have his greatest game but that one poor performance is not a measure of him as a player.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “He didn’t get forward enough. There weren’t those areas to run into and he didn’t dictate the play like we expected.

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“It wasn’t a great game. Scotland played exceptionally well and we were flat on the evening.

“Phillips will always get singled out. That’s the way it is because he’s playing for Leeds United and we’ve just come up from the Championship.

“Everyone is always going to have an opinion on who should or shouldn’t be in the side, especially when you put in a poor performance.”

“But look, Gareth Southgate is the manager and has picked him because he sees something in him after watching him week in, week out.

“The people who criticise him probably don’t even watch him. They probably watch Declan Rice or Jordan Henderson.

Phillips was making his ninth England appearances after making his debut in September last year.

He featured 31 times for Leeds in all competitions in 2020-21.

In other news, Leeds United submit seven-figure bid for lightning-quick EFL striker.