Gareth Southgate has come into the England set-up at a really good time. I hope he does get time, but in saying that you’ve got to show something to get that as well. If we crash out in the group stages, he’s not going to get that time.
Everyone will be saying he should get the sack and to get a new manager in that knows what he’s doing, but hopefully there will be signs that we’re progressing.
He’s obviously picked a squad that’s inexperienced and they’re there to get that, so England will get better along the way.
However, you have to show something in the group stages and get through perhaps at least one, if not two more rounds after that to show signs of improvement and that we’re able to compete at the top level with the big nations.
Harry won’t find the captaincy a burden
Harry Kane has got the lot. He’s probably the best striker we’ve had in the last 20 or 30 years. You’d have to look at Shearer’s attitude and mentality that made him so good, but Harry’s got that.
Whether he’s got as good players around him as Shearer had I’m not so sure, especially the defenders that were in the team at the time. There were a lot of top players playing for England then, a lot of captains around.
The Three Lions don’t have that at the moment, so even though Harry is world class he needs a lot of help around him as well.
The captaincy won’t impact his game at all. He’s very level headed, he knows what he’s got to do.
He’s not really a talker as such, he’s a leader by example and everyone captains in different ways, but he’s an outstanding leader on the pitch.
Level-headed Southgate has prep spot on
I like the way Gareth is going about his business and the way he’s talking. Obviously, it’s the start of the tournament, but they’re looking confident and upbeat.
He speaks a lot to the media about togetherness and being a good unit.
Players have been talking about how good of an atmosphere there’s been in the camp and they’re always going to say that when they’re in the squad.
That’s what footballers say though, and if you said anything different you wouldn’t be playing.
But, you do get the general vibe that players are enjoying themselves. However, we’ll only see the real effect when we watch the team play.
They’ve all been qualifying games up to now so this is where the talking stops, you’re at the pinnacle of the game so now’s the time to perform. This is where results count, people tighten up and start getting nervous about making mistakes.
That’s Gareth’s job now to take the pressure off and let them produce their best football, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what man management is all about.
We all want fast attacking football, lots of passing, possession and taking the game to the opposition. He’s obviously keen to go with ball playing defenders at the back and he wants them to get on the ball and pass the ball out from there.
Normally, we build our players up every World Cup and European Championship to say we’re the best in the world and believe we’ll go out and boss it against the biggest nations.
That obviously hasn’t happened this year with how we’ve fared in the last few tournaments. We know they’re a decent team, but we’ll have to wait and see if they’re any better than that.
VAR is not for me
I wouldn’t have wanted it when I was playing. I don’t like all that standing about during the game waiting for the result of what’s going on.
Everyone will get stumped by a goal at some stage in their careers, but it normally evens itself out.
You have to move forward I suppose and if it makes the game better than hopefully that’s the right decision.Get your World Cup bets on with PaddyPower.com