Eng­land shown TV clips to learn from tour­na­ment flops

Daily Mail - - International Football - MATT LAW­TON Chief Sports Re­porter ENG­LAND have failed to win seven of their last nine knock­out ties at tour­na­ments since Euro 96. It’s been 11 years since their last knock­out win — against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup. @Mat­t_Law­ton_DM

AS well as out­lin­ing his vi­sion of eng­land’s fu­ture, Gareth South­gate ap­peared to de­liver some­thing of a his­tory les­son yes­ter­day.

He played a video of him­self miss­ing that penalty against Ger­many at euro 96, us­ing it to ex­plain how he moved on from the nadir of his play­ing ca­reer.

And within the same con­text he then ran a clip of eng­land last sum­mer and that morale-sap­ping 2-1 de­feat by Ice­land.

It might have been ap­pro­pri­ate to add a few seg­ments of wayne Rooney’s darker mo­ments on the in­ter­na­tional stage, given that he too now feels like part of eng­land’s past.

Rooney might yet prove us wrong and re­turn for his 120th cap, but the events of the last few days have given the im­pres­sion that time is be­ing called on the eng­land ca­reer of the coun­try’s record goalscorer.

All those con­cerned in­sisted there was noth­ing to read into his ab­sence from yes­ter­day’s meet­ing at St George’s Park. He was hav­ing im­por­tant treat­ment on a leg in­jury sus­tained in train­ing last week.

But if South­gate had not first omit­ted him from his squad and then said he could no longer con­sider him­self eng­land’s cap­tain — in­stead ex­plain­ing he would se­lect his skip­per on a match- to- match ba­sis — one won­ders if Rooney would have made the ef­fort to be here.

This, af­ter all, was an im­por­tant mo­ment for South­gate. He was de­liv­er­ing his mis­sion state­ment, the blue­print for eng­land’s fu­ture, a mea­sure of what it meant to him the fact he in­vited Rooney and other play­ers ei­ther in­jured or on the pe­riph­ery to at­tend.

Of those, only Jack But­land turned up, de­spite Rooney liv­ing a lit­tle more than an hour away from the Na­tional Foot­ball Cen­tre.

If Rooney was feel­ing ex­cluded, it did not end there. Yes­ter­day the FA also launched their new away strip and in the pho­to­graphs pub­lished on­line the 31-year- old Manch­ester United for­ward was no­tice­able by his ab­sence.

For those who did at­tend, the meet­ing sounded ex­tremely pos­i­tive, even if a more cyn­i­cal ob­server might wince at the thought of South­gate telling his play­ers that, de­spite los­ing to Ice­land, they can be the ‘best team in the world’.

Only last week South­gate was stress­ing the im­por­tance of recog­nis­ing what a great di­vide has de­vel­oped be­tween eng­land and the in­ter­na­tional elite.

even so, Jamie Vardy was glow­ing in his praise of South­gate’s pre­sen­ta­tion. ‘It was great,’ he said. ‘ Ob­vi­ously we were look­ing for­ward to the world Cup and be­yond and what we want to achieve as a squad to­gether; the fact that we want nt to keep im­prov­ing.

‘ There were high-high­lights and clips fro­mom the past, whenen things have nott gone right, andd how we can use them and re­mem­ber them to ben­e­fit us in the fu­ture; inn what we want too achieve and too help us keep ep pro­gress­ing.’

And South­gate’s s pen-penalty? A penalty, itit should be pointed out, that was saved ed by An­dreas Kopke, who will be on the bench as Ger­many’s longserv­ing goal­keep­ing coach tomorrow night.

‘The penalty was on there, yes,’ said Vardy. ‘He didn’t go into much de­tail but he wanted it to be on there to show how far he has come as well. Ob­vi­ously him be­ing in that sit­u­a­tion, to have that kind of knowl­edge, can ben­e­fit us quite a lot.

‘ I can just about re­mem­ber euro 96. I lived bang across the road from where Den­mark were based. look­ing back on it I’m sure that mo­ment hurt the man­ager a lot but he will have def­i­nitely learnt from it, too.’

The Ice­land clip from euro 2016 was, says Vardy, also brief. ‘ we didn’t fo­cus on it too much,’ he said. ‘ we know that game was a let-down for ev­ery­one.

‘But you do need to look back on things like that to make sure you im­prove.

‘we’ve got a great set of lads, tal­ent-wise — un­be­liev­able. But we’ve just got to make sure we keep pro­gress­ing.

‘It might be slow, it might be quick; no­body knows when it’s go­ing to hap­pen. But we just need to make sure that we’re con­stantly push­ing for­ward.’

Vardy, of course, is proof that any­thing is pos­si­ble, his rise not just from non-league to the top flight but also to the sta­tus of Premier league ti­tle winner demon­strat­ing as much. ‘If we’re all at 100 per cent we can give anyan team in the world a ggame,’ he said of engla eng­land, even if he did appe ap­pear re­luc­tant to en en­dorse the view t that beat­ing the world cham­pi­ons in Dort­mund would make them in­stant w world-beaters.

It was in­ter­est­ing lis­ten­ing to Va Vardy yes­ter­day, and the dis­tinc­tion he mmade be­tween play­ing for his club and his countr coun­try. The pres­sure at euro e 2016 was some­thing he said he had never ex­pe­ri­enced.

‘At le­ices­ter we didn’t re­ally feel it last sea­son,’ he said. ‘Once we got to 40 points it was off us.’

Rooney is sure to view his own ca­reer rather dif­fer­ently. The weight of ex­pec­ta­tion has al­ways been heavy.

But eng­land? That seems to be be­com­ing less of an is­sue, judg­ing by his omis­sion from the start­ing line-up in Slove­nia last Oc­to­ber to his ab­sence this week.

Never mind the con­tro­versy that sur­rounded a late-night drink­ing ses­sion in the team ho­tel. Yes­ter­day eng­land seemed to be em­bark­ing on a new jour­ney with­out him.

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