MY FIVE-POINT PLAN ON HOW TO MAKE A MARK ON WORLD STAGE

Daily Mail - - World Cup 2018 - BRYAN ROB­SON

GAME­PLAN

All play­ers need to be well drilled on the team’s tac­tics and for­ma­tion re­quire­ments. At Euro 2016, we didn’t have a very good plan against Ice­land. They al­lowed us pos­ses­sion, then dom­i­nated set-pieces and picked up the sec­ond ball. We didn’t re­act to an ob­vi­ous tac­tic and this time we must be bet­ter pre­pared. To achieve any­thing you need game in­tel­li­gence. Eng­land must be armed with a plan so every­one knows their re­spon­si­bil­ity. Should the game change, sub­sti­tutes must know their roles. As in 1990 and ’96 we are favour­ing three at the back. If they need to ad­just to four, then it’s im­por­tant such a change is fluid and we don’t lose mo­men­tum. What I like is Gareth us­ing play­ers that have a sharp in­ter­change of pass­ing, like Mar­cus Rash­ford, Dele Alli and Ra­heem Ster­ling, which makes our at­tack­ing play brighter and un­pre­dictable for the op­po­si­tion.

TEAM­WORK

A GAME­PLAN is no use with­out team­work. Whether you press or drop off, it’s re­ally im­por­tant that you do it to­gether. It’s no good a cen­tre for­ward clos­ing down a de­fender if the next man doesn’t push in be­hind to cut off a pass. like­wise if we drop off and need to keep the ball, we do it as a unit. Away from the pitch, it’s cru­cial the play­ers do things to­gether to help form a strong bond. Whether it’s play­ing cards — at Manch­ester United even Sir Alex Fer­gu­son would join in — or hav­ing a laugh watch­ing a film. Gareth may al­low a bit of golf to in­crease com­pet­i­tive spirit or even a quiz. lit­tle things can help im­prove the dy­nam­ics of the group.

FIT­NESS

Hav­ing a fit squad and avoid­ing in­juries is a big as­pect of a tour­na­ment. Fit­ness lev­els can help you get a late goal — or con­versely, make you give one away. We have a young squad and most of the play­ers have pace and plenty of en­ergy. premier league play­ers do have a more ar­du­ous sea­son than play­ers from Spain, for ex­am­ple, but we mustn’t let that ar­gu­ment creep in to our men­tal­ity. In 1986, play­ing at al­ti­tude in 100-de­gree heat against Morocco stressed us more than it did them but in Rus­sia we shouldn’t be fac­ing such is­sues.

CON­FI­DENCE

IF you don’t have any con­fi­dence you may as well go home. For­tu­nately, when I played, I also had con­fi­dence in those around me and that’s equally im­por­tant. You know your mate won’t let you down. You’ve got to go into a World Cup want­ing to en­joy test­ing your­self against the very best. Ex­press your­self and show you de­serve to be there. Our squad may be young but they can look at each other and say ‘we play in one of the most com­pet­i­tive leagues in the world and nearly all of us have played Cham­pi­ons league foot­ball against some of the best around’. The flip­side is that they don’t get car­ried away. By all means be fired up, but from ex­pe­ri­ence, good play­ers such as Diego Maradona ex­pected you to come at them quickly and they’d be clever enough to use it against you. Keep your head and a sen­si­ble re­spect for the op­po­si­tion — but don’t show any fear.

...AND LUCK!

I AM a firm be­liever in mak­ing your own luck but every side needs that bit of good for­tune. Mis­takes de­ter­mine most games. You only have to look at what hap­pened to liver­pool’s loris Kar­ius in the Cham­pi­ons league fi­nal. It is bad luck but could it also be a lack of con­cen­tra­tion or due to a bang to his head? Cut out mis­takes and you have a chance. Of course we all have our su­per­sti­tions too. I liked to wear the no 7 and put my shirt on last. It was noth­ing com­pared to peter Shilton though. He used to have a rou­tine for how his kit was laid out, when he looked in the mir­ror and even brush­ing his hair. We’d mess up his clothes when he went to check the pitch be­fore kick-off to lighten the mood. Su­per­sti­tion can move in mys­te­ri­ous ways.

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