Tuesday, 25 September, 2018


Gareth Southgate says England face toughest World Cup test against Croatia

Gareth Southgate says England face toughest World Cup test against Croatia Gareth Southgate says England face toughest World Cup test against Croatia
Noah Ferguson | 11 July, 2018, 18:23

"'Football's coming home' is a song I couldn't even listen to for 20 years, frankly, so for me it has a slightly different feel", Southgate said Tuesday on the eve of England's World Cup semifinal match against Croatia.

Jenas doesn't just believe Modric is among the best - he thinks the Real Madrid man is the top midfielder in the world and is only denied accolades because he doesn't rack up goals like some other stars do. A 1998 update changed the third verse to "no more years of hurt".

Alli was part of the England squad who crashed out of Euro 2016 with defeat by Iceland and he said Southgate had encouraged the players to confront that memory before the tournament.

"We've been having a really good time so far".

In a Twitter video, he said ahead of his show that night, the doors at The O2 arena in London will open early, so fans can come and watch the World Cup game on the massive screens on stage. Southgate wants to break stereotypes, and not just on the field.

The names of Sir Alf Ramsey and his players - still the only 11 Englishmen to play in a World Cup final - will be recalled forever and their stories told whenever the nation's landmark moments in sport are revisited.

"I'm rare breed. I'm an Englishman that doesn't drink tea", he said. Croatia's midfield control depends on the exceptional balancing act done by Luka Modric and Rakitic, and Henderson is the only player at Gareth Southgate's disposal who is well-equipped to disrupt that rhythm. The cost of that appears to be an injury for Sime Vrsaljko, after he was forced off against the latter and is a big doubt for the upcoming game.

"For us as a team, it's another chance to create a small piece of history".

The team's rare success at a major tournament has captured the nation's attention, but Southgate says - regardless of how far England go - that his life will remain the same. "You don't want to watch it back but we know how important it was, going into the World Cup, that we had to go back through it to come out stronger".

The contribution of Raheem Sterling remains a polarizing debate in England with the Manchester City player without a goal for his country since October, 2015 but Southgate says the forward's contribution in Russian Federation has been essential. "The age of the players, the improvement in the players, the hunger in the players has been apparent for everybody to see". They'll get to do both.

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