Another World Cup failure not an option, England hero warns Southgate’s men
Gareth Southgate has touched down in Russia with his England team — and been warned the nation cannot afford another World Cup disaster, writes John Cross in Repino .
Three Lions legend Teddy Sheringham believes the optimism of a bright future for Southgate and his young team depends on them exciting the nation and reaching the knockout rounds.
England went out in the group stages in Brazil four years ago and Sheringham, who played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cup finals, said: “If we went out in the group stages, it would be very hard for Southgate and the team to move forward.
“We just need to look like there’s promise in the team. Keeping his job and keeping those players together can be very beneficial for England in the future.
“You’d say quarter-finals is a good result, but I think the most important thing is to show those promising factors. Things to get the fans excited for the years to come.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how Gareth Southgate performs.
“It’s a big summer for him. It’s not one single player, it’s how they perform as a team.
“As long as they don’t come back from Russia having disgraced themselves, not getting out of the group, that will hold England in good stead for the Euros in two years’ time.
“We’re going into this World Cup with an inexperienced squad, so if they can hold their heads high after the tournament, they’ve got a bright future.”
Sheringham, a key member of the 1996 team that reached the semi-finals of the European Championship, also claimed Spurs successor Harry Kane can emulate the likes of Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer and become a great leader.
In an interview with BetStars, he added: “Everyone is different in how they captain the team. I prefer centre-halves and centre-midfielders as captains, but Gareth has gone for Kane, in the same mould as Shearer and Lineker.
“It’s not easy leading from the front, as long as you lead by example people will follow. He’s our one world class player, our talisman so it makes sense.”
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