Sunday, 18 November, 2018


Gareth Southgate defends Harry Kane from semi-final criticism

England's Dele Alli celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the quarterfinal match between Sweden and Gareth Southgate defends Harry Kane from semi-final criticism
Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 10:30

But despite the heartbreak, they and manager Gareth Southgate have reconnected many people with the national team.

Gareth Southgate insists he could not have asked for more from captain Harry Kane during England's World Cup campaign, dismissing criticism of the Tottenham striker's performance in Wednesday's 2-1 semi-final defeat to Croatia. "Only great teams can be as courageous as we were and fight back from a goal down against teams like England", Mandzukic said. There's a lot we could have done better. And they're just thinking, "we'll get behind these lads".

"You've got to look at that squad now and think, you know what, they're going to get a result".

Phil Foden, the Manchester City teenager, is highly regarded and a potential star of Euro 2020, but he has to play for his club before he can think of representing his country. We closed down (John) Stones and (Jordan) Henderson.

"We had a little less composure with the ball in the second half, and maybe that was a effect of being ahead with the least experienced team in the finals, with an opportunity to get to a World Cup final". Rakitic added a late third as Croatia secured their place in the last 16.

"Both teams have shown their qualities, we do not seek revenge, this is football, this is sport, but what we have to do is focus on preparing to play our best game of the tournament in the final".

GW: Yeah, there's a good article in The Guardian, by Aleksander Holiga that I suggest everyone read, about Croatia and he's one of the authorities on Croatia.

Former footballer Samantha Scriven, 28, an operating department practitioner, said: "I love football, I used to play for Shrewsbury ladies and Wolves too".

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, told the Three Lions the whole country is behind them.

And fans said they believed the key to success was the youthful team's work ethic and pride.

In Moscow, some England fans emerged from the Luzhniki Stadium in tears and being hugged by others while jubilant Croatian supporters celebrated around them. "I'm going to a wedding on the weekend, I have to drive to the airport soon to pick up my cousin who's flying in from Toronto, I have to make dinner, and I'm still here watching the game". We're taking it step by step.

"But equally we want to be a team that's hitting quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals - that was what we've aimed to do in the long term and we've proved that is possible".

"There's music on from around 3pm until just before kick-off, and then hopefully we'll carry on celebrating after the match".

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