South­gate wards against Eng­land ar­ro­gance

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BUR­TON-ON-TRENT: Eng­land must learn to be more street­wise but ward against ar­ro­gance, in­terim man­ager Gareth South­gate said ahead of World Cup qual­i­fier against old ene­mies Scot­land at Wem­b­ley. South­gate said the dif­fer­ence be­tween ar­ro­gance and con­fi­dence had come up dur­ing a squad meet­ing be­fore the game, which is the third as­sign­ment of his four-match ten­ure.

‘Ar­ro­gance’ has be­come a buzz­word for some mod­ern coaches, with Celtic man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers and Bel­gium na­tional coach Roberto Martinez among those to have hailed its im­por­tance. But South­gate said: “I think ar­ro­gance sug­gests you take the op­po­si­tion for granted, that you can’t be hurt or you can’t lose. I think that is the dif­fer­ence.” South­gate cited Paul Gas­coigne’s fa­mous goal against Scot­land at Euro 96, when he flicked the ball over Colin Hendry be­fore vol­ley­ing home, as an ex­am­ple of con­fi­dence that had not strayed into ar­ro­gance.

“It is great to have huge be­lief in your abil­ity, which Gas­coigne’s goal was,” he told re­porters at Eng­land’s St Ge­orge’s Park head­quar­ters in Bur­ton-on-Trent on Thurs­day. “That is an ex­am­ple of an in­cred­i­bly cre­ative mind. I don’t think he was try­ing to hu­mil­i­ate a player. “He was just see­ing in his mind, in­stinc­tively, a way to get past the player in front of him and fin­ish it. That is a sign of ge­nius. ”South­gate has con­firmed Wayne Rooney, Eng­land’s present-day tal­is­man, will re­turn to the start­ing XI against Scot­land.

Rooney be­gan last month’s 0-0 draw away to Slove­nia on the bench, hav­ing lost his place at Manch­ester United, but he has started United’s last two games and looks to be find­ing form. “Class is per­ma­nent, isn’t it?” South­gate said. “We all have mo­ments as play­ers where you have runs of games. Part of be­ing a player is grind­ing out the dif­fi­cult mo­ments. “There are matches and pe­ri­ods where you know you are not at your best. They are the games you have to grind out and play your part for the team. “Then there are other games where things are hap­pen­ing more nat­u­rally. To me he looks like he is just head­ing into that pe­riod. That is great for us.”

‘Nearly de­cap­i­tated’

While South­gate wants to see Eng­land’s play­ers show hu­mil­ity, he be­lieves they are some­times guilty of show­ing a too keenly de­vel­oped sense of fair play and need to be more “street­wise”. He pointed to an in­ci­dent dur­ing Eng­land’s 1-0 friendly win over Por­tu­gal prior to Euro 2016 when Harry Kane tried to play on de­spite be­ing kicked in the head by Bruno Alves, who was sent off. “Harry nearly got de­cap­i­tated against Por­tu­gal and tried to keep go­ing,” South­gate said.

“A lot of feed­back to me would be: ‘It’s a joke: you’re telling him to go down and get the other player sent off. It’s not Bri­tish.’ “I’d be one of the first to-at the right mo­ment-do the right thing. But we are on the pitch. We want to win. So, there is ob­vi­ously an edge. “I don’t en­cour­age play­ers to cheat. — AFP

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