Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate is leaving nothing to chance as the next instalment of the England v Germany saga takes place at Wembley on Tuesday night.
Having missed the vital spot-kick in the semi-final shoot-out against their old foe at Euro ’96, Southgate knows better than most how much pressure his boys will be under and has delivered a timely and measured message on how to handle the inevitable Pizza Hut ad when England crash out on penalties.
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Sources close to the England camp have told us that the manager has been giving his squad players acting tips before they write their names in the history books on Tuesday with soaring spot-kicks into row Z or ill-timed panenkas, priming his players on how to deal with becoming England’s public enemy number one.
Iconic cockney thespian Danny Dyer has been invited to the squad’s training base at St George’s Park, to give the players some expert tips on how to act in front of the camera.
A camp insider told us that Southgate had; “Turned the dining area into a pop-up theatre” and “encouraged the players to act out parts of their favourite films under Dyer’s guidance”.
One player did such a good impression of Dyer himself in The Football Factory, the loveable East End rogue immediately got in touch with his agent to get them a walk on part in EastEnders.
Sheffield-born Harry Maguire attempted to recreate the dance scene from “The Full Monty” alongside the other steel city icon Kyle Walker, but, just like on the field, the two were never in tandem with the former having stripped down to his underpants before the latter had even taken off his shoes.
Jordan Pickford’s Edward Scissorhands homage drew a standing ovation from the rest of the squad before Dyer suggested Harry Kane could perform scenes from The Invisible Man, but the England skipper was nowhere to be found.
Fortunately, Frank Lampard was only too keen to facetime in to deliver Liam Neeson’s speech from Taken to Southgate as Mason Mount lay quivering and gagged in a corner, though the damage wrought on the hotel facilities later that night by the ex-Chelsea man as he attempted to “rescue” the midfielder may raise questions for the FA.
There have been two other special guests at St George’s Park this week with both Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce, who both missed vital penalties in the World Cup semi-final shootout against West Germany at Italia 90, joining the team. Both men appeared alongside Southgate in that famous Pizza Hut commercial 25 years ago and the England boss was keen for them to share their own experiences with the current squad.
Waddle is no stranger to humiliating himself after two attempts at pop stardom- the first time duetting with his then Spurs team-mate Glenn Hoddle on 1987’s “Diamond Lights”, the other four years later whilst at Marseille with team-mate Basil Boli on “We got a Feeling – while Pearce, nicknamed “Psycho” for his no-nonsense defending and the fact that he used to warm up for games headbutting the dressing room wall while wearing only his underpants, once had a brief walk-on part in an episode of The Bill.
As we understand it, both are expected to make a guest appearance in the new ad too, with pre-production for the commercial already started.
A production company insider has also declared that: “This ad will get on everyone’s tits even more than the Snoop Dog one. It’s going to be everywhere.”
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