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His future has been in doubt since the Champions League final, but Gareth Bale's agent has shed light on what the Welshman desires most.
Bale needs Real Madrid assurances, says agent
His future has been in doubt since the Champions League final, but Gareth Bale's agent has shed light on what the Welshman desires most.
Manchester City have finally agreed a deal with Napoli for Jorginho worth an initial £43.1 million after weeks of protracted negotiations with the Italian club. The Premier League champions are hopeful of completing the transfer in the coming days and it is thought the fee could rise up to £48.3 million with add ons. Napoli had been holding out for around £50 million for the Brazil-born Italy midfielder but City were reluctant to go that high, despite Pep Guardiola’s eagerness to sign the 26-year-old. City switched their attention to Jorginho after backing out of a move for Brazil midfielder Fred, who has agreed to join Manchester United, and Guardiola is confident he will provide quality competition for Fernandinho in the defensive midfield role following the departure of Yaya Toure. Napoli are already on the verge of signing Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis after meeting the £26.4 million release clause in the Spain Under-21 midfielder’s contract. Ruiz flew into Naples yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a medical and has agreed a five-year deal. City are also signing highly rated 17-year-old midfielder, Adria Bernabe, from Barcelona.
Manchester City agree Jorginho deal with Napoli for initial £43.1m
Manchester City have finally agreed a deal with Napoli for Jorginho worth an initial £43.1 million after weeks of protracted negotiations with the Italian club. The Premier League champions are hopeful of completing the transfer in the coming days and it is thought the fee could rise up to £48.3 million with add ons. Napoli had been holding out for around £50 million for the Brazil-born Italy midfielder but City were reluctant to go that high, despite Pep Guardiola’s eagerness to sign the 26-year-old. City switched their attention to Jorginho after backing out of a move for Brazil midfielder Fred, who has agreed to join Manchester United, and Guardiola is confident he will provide quality competition for Fernandinho in the defensive midfield role following the departure of Yaya Toure. Napoli are already on the verge of signing Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis after meeting the £26.4 million release clause in the Spain Under-21 midfielder’s contract. Ruiz flew into Naples yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a medical and has agreed a five-year deal. City are also signing highly rated 17-year-old midfielder, Adria Bernabe, from Barcelona.
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
How England's World Cup plans were hatched on a road trip around Russia last summer
Steve Holland has revealed fascinating detail of how England’s World Cup plans, including an overhaul of the team, style of play and the formation, were hatched on a road trip around Russia with Gareth Southgate last summer. The England assistant manager, who enjoyed six remarkably successful years on the Chelsea backroom staff, also said that Southgate shares the same three qualities every successful manager - including Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte - requires. Southgate held off his “revolution” until England had qualified after picking up the pieces following Sam Allardyce’s dismissal - after just one game in charge - and the Iceland debacle overseen by Roy Hodgson at Euro 2016 which led to him quitting. But it was at the Confederations Cup that Southgate and Holland, as they travelled around Russia watching matches but also looking at possible World Cup base camps, found the time to work on their detailed plans - with the key decision of switching to a defensive back three made over dinner in Sochi. “We spent about four weeks on the road, the two of us,” Holland, who first worked with Southgate as his assistant with England Under-21s, said. “We spent a lot of time on a plane but it really gave us the opportunity to speak about what we'd learnt in the year. We came to some conclusions. We watched the matches in the Confeds Cup; Germany, Portugal, Mexico, Chile, some good teams. Tried to envisage how we would play, how our team would look in those kind of fixtures against that kind of opposition, and we made some decisions. One of those was a back three. We felt we would be better with and without the ball with a back three. We had dinner in Sochi and that was more or less where it was named. Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate finalise their plans Credit: pa “We looked at Terry Venables’ Euro 96 team, (Steve) McManaman and (Darren) Anderton as wing-backs and (Gary) Neville in a back three, the balance of the midfield etc, etc. Even back to Bobby Robson, in Italia 90, who started with one way of playing then went to a back three... the process really was: what gives us the best chance of not conceding many goals? What gives us the best chance of having more control of the game with the ball? “They were the two factors really. Also given the players that we’ve got, the type of players we had. That meant once we were going down that road, to fit one of those three positions you had to be a certain profile of player. It’s been documented some players maybe are, some maybe aren’t, but we were very clear if that’s what we’re going to do, to play in one of those three roles, to be able to handle the ball to a good level, is one of those criteria.” One casualty was Chris Smalling, deemed not good enough with the ball at his feet, while Kyle Walker was switched from right-back - in much the same way as Chelsea, under Conte, and with Holland there, moved Cesar Azpilicueta. “Chelsea won the league that year with a 3-4-3, with Azpilicueta as a full-back in a back three, with (Gary) Cahill on the left and David Luiz, as it was then, in the middle. It was a combination of how we viewed our own players,” Holland said. “The next stage of that, really, was what best suited the midfield balance? We then felt three rather than two, given the profile of players we have. Three brings a (Jesse) Lingard, a (Dele) Alli, a (Adam) Lallana, who unfortunately we couldn’t have but was England’s player of the year last year. If we play with two, it’s much more difficult for that kind of player to play that role, the responsibility becomes more to provide structure and balance to the team. England appear more fluid in a 3-5-2 Credit: getty images “Also, we have good forwards. If we play 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 we can only play one of them. We play two, we can get two on the pitch, and also refresh the two more who are probably just as good. So (a back) three we thought was a good decision, three is better than two (in midfield), and two is probably better than one (in attack), given the profile of players we have. The only criteria we have after that is do we have the wing-backs? I think the wing-backs probably are the least of our problems. We have all sorts of different types of wing-backs, so it made sense.” One of those is Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the inclusion of the 19 year-old a prime example of diligent scouting and bravery. “I went to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold in the Champions League quarter-final at Man City, second leg,” Holland said. “After three minutes they’re 1-0 down Liverpool, and he’s playing one against one against (Leroy) Sane, the crowd are up, the atmosphere, the place is rocking, they can smell there’s a comeback on. He had to survive, and he did more than survive. So that night you don’t learn ‘is he a good crosser?’ and ‘can he play quickly out of pressure?’ You learn, ‘OK, this kid has got some personality when it matters’. They’re the kind of things that we’ve tried to learn, and build profiles on all of the players.” Pick your England XI to face Panama Certainly Southgate and Holland are a good combination, with the assistant, at 48, also just four months older. “I think with Gareth, he ticks so many of the boxes that the best that I’ve worked with tick,” Holland said. “There is an obvious difference. And I’m trying to say this without being in any with disrespectful towards Gareth, because clearly I wouldn’t. Jose Mourinho has won this title or that title in four or five different countries, and Gareth hasn’t. His pathway has been different. And he’s a different personality. But does he understand man-management and getting the best out of players? Yes. Does he understand the value of giving staff ownership and responsibility, and getting the best out of the staff? Yes, absolutely. Does he have experience of international football at the highest level? Yes. So he has some outstanding qualities, and I’ve really seen him grow into the role.” Jamie Carragher: England's system does not suit Raheem Sterling - Marcus Rashford must play against Panama As for Holland himself, why did he leave Chelsea and take the England role? “The best thing is this... to be at a World Cup with England, wow,” he said. “Do I miss the day-to-day training and being on the pitch, yeah of course. I’d much rather be doing that than driving here and there. But I think the role can be whatever you want it to be. I hear it’s a job for an experienced guy who’s at the end of his career, nice and calm, and enjoys his life. When the camp comes round, focus on the camp. That isn’t how we’ve approached this massive responsibility.” In England, more than 20 million people watched the Tunisia game. “It’s a massive responsibility. What more important role could you have?” Holland added. England 2-1 Tunisia: Did Southgate's big calls pay off? | Matt Law's verdict Holland knows that scoring more goals - and being less dependent on Harry Kane - is “the next bit” of the master-plan. “If you look at the England team, where are our goals? We've been so dependent on Harry but we've not always had Harry. After that where are our goals? (Jamie) Vardy and (Danny) Welbeck have reasonable goal records for England and after that we've got potential. It might just take a bit of time there. “If you imagine these guys in a couple of years, and I hope I'm still around then, once they've become more seasoned at this level that could be really exciting. It already is now.” Tunisia 1 England 2 | Kane snatches winning World Cup start for Southgate's men WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Spain, the 2010 champions, got a good scare from Team Melli but eventually prevailed 1-0 through a fortunate Diego Costa goal.
Spain squeezes out win against Iran
Spain, the 2010 champions, got a good scare from Team Melli but eventually prevailed 1-0 through a fortunate Diego Costa goal.
Spain, the 2010 champions, got a good scare from Team Melli but eventually prevailed 1-0 through a fortunate Diego Costa goal.
Spain squeezes out win against Iran
Spain, the 2010 champions, got a good scare from Team Melli but eventually prevailed 1-0 through a fortunate Diego Costa goal.
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Coupe du Monde : l'Uruguay qualifie, Ronaldo élimine le Maroc
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Coupe du Monde : l'Uruguay qualifie, Ronaldo élimine le Maroc
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Coupe du Monde : l'Uruguay qualifie, Ronaldo élimine le Maroc
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Coupe du Monde : l'Uruguay qualifié, Ronaldo élimine le Maroc
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Coupe du Monde : l'Uruguay qualifie, Ronaldo élimine le Maroc
En Coupe du Monde, l'Uruguay a battu l'Arabie Saoudite 1 à O. Plus tôt, le Portugal a éliminé le Maroc sur le même score. C'est Cristiano Ronaldo qui a offert la victoire aux champions d'Europe.
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia (AFP Photo/Lindsey PARNABY)
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia (AFP Photo/Lindsey PARNABY)
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Alex Hales still thinks of himself as being on the fringes of the England one-day international team, even after a hundred that set-up a record-breaking win over world champions Australia
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
43rd Annual VT Decathlon Championships
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
43rd Annual VT Decathlon Championships
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
43rd Annual VT Decathlon Championships
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
43rd Annual VT Decathlon Championships
Highlights & Hear from the Champions
Le Stade Toulousain, le Racing et le LOU ont hérité de poules relevées en Champions Cup. Ce sera a priori plus abordable pour Castres, Montpellier et Toulon. Clermont, qui évoluera de son côté en Challenge européen, est tombé dans une poule en théorie accessible. Les autres clubs français sont également fixés.
Champions Cup et Challenge européen: le programme des poules pour la saison prochaine
Le Stade Toulousain, le Racing et le LOU ont hérité de poules relevées en Champions Cup. Ce sera a priori plus abordable pour Castres, Montpellier et Toulon. Clermont, qui évoluera de son côté en Challenge européen, est tombé dans une poule en théorie accessible. Les autres clubs français sont également fixés.
Le Stade Toulousain, le Racing et le LOU ont hérité de poules relevées en Champions Cup. Ce sera a priori plus abordable pour Castres, Montpellier et Toulon. Clermont, qui évoluera de son côté en Challenge européen, est tombé dans une poule en théorie accessible. Les autres clubs français sont également fixés.
Champions Cup et Challenge européen: le programme des poules pour la saison prochaine
Le Stade Toulousain, le Racing et le LOU ont hérité de poules relevées en Champions Cup. Ce sera a priori plus abordable pour Castres, Montpellier et Toulon. Clermont, qui évoluera de son côté en Challenge européen, est tombé dans une poule en théorie accessible. Les autres clubs français sont également fixés.
Zagueiro da Roma brilhou na eliminação da equipe catalã na Champions League
Manolas é novamente oferecido ao Barcelona
Zagueiro da Roma brilhou na eliminação da equipe catalã na Champions League
Zagueiro da Roma brilhou na eliminação da equipe catalã na Champions League
Manolas é novamente oferecido ao Barcelona
Zagueiro da Roma brilhou na eliminação da equipe catalã na Champions League
While talks continue around Leicester's Riyad Mahrez, the Premier League champions are hoping to announce the capture of the Brazilian midfielder
Man City close on £50m deal for Napoli star Jorginho
While talks continue around Leicester's Riyad Mahrez, the Premier League champions are hoping to announce the capture of the Brazilian midfielder
<p>Germany star Thomas Mueller says the reigning world champions are feeling the pressure as they prepare for this weekend's game against Sweden at risk of an unthinkably premature exit.</p>
World Cup: Germany's Mueller says pressure 'terrifically high'

Germany star Thomas Mueller says the reigning world champions are feeling the pressure as they prepare for this weekend's game against Sweden at risk of an unthinkably premature exit.

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