Friday, 20 July, 2018

Scholes Attributes England World Cup Success To Guardiola's Influence

Steven Gerrard was part of the England team beaten in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals Steven Gerrard was part of the England team beaten in the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals
Edward Snyder | 13 July, 2018, 07:47

Who will start for Croatia when they take on England in their World Cup semi-final clash?

The iconic Black Prince statue in City Square is now holding an England flag and its very own football.

He said: "When I walk in the street, wait on the platform for a train going to work or go shopping I have young lads asking for photos or telling me how much I look like Harry Kane.

England has to win two more games to bring the World Cup home, but the enthusiasm some soccer fans displayed after their team advanced to the semi-finals met global expectations.

"Of course, the tournament ended in disappointment and it is nice to be able to put a different frame on it now".

And Martinez said there had been no secret to success, just the following of a process as team and manager got to know one another's individual talents during his time in charge.

"England has been the most impressive team so far".

That tournament ended in despair for the defender after missing the crucial penalty in the shootout, so perhaps it is little wonder that the level-headed manager and "bloody proud" Englishman has got lost in some of the celebrations in Russian Federation.

England have been rewriting history in Russian Federation, and Southgate is hoping there will be more to come as they play their most important World Cup game since losing to West Germany on penalties in the semi-finals of Italia '90.




"Being both British and Swedish, we were on the edge of our seats during the game and we would like to say 'Grattis!' (that's congratulations in Swedish) to the England team for getting through to the semi-finals".

And the last time it played in the final four was 20 years ago, in 1998.

"So we were at home and I went to get changed and I thought, 'Hmm, shall I wear those socks?' We still needed the win, but I thought, 'No, it's ridiculous'".

Gareth Southgate has good memories of the summer of 1990, when England were managed by Bobby Robson, pictured (PA Archive).

"We've strived to be as good as we could be at worldwide level and it's taken us two years to get there".

The song, recorded by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds, has been echoing around the nation once again ever since it became apparent that Southgate and his team were going to have an extended stay in Russian Federation.

But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title.

"But equally, we're always looking at how we can hurt them, what are the areas we can exploit in the way they play?"

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