Page 1 of 7 1236 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 65

Thread: England

  1. #1
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    England

    Phil Jones should be fit to go to the FIFA World Cup™ with England after his shoulder injury proved less serious than was feared, Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs said today.

    Jones came off in the 16th minute of United's 3-1 win over Hull on Tuesday after a clash with Maynor Figueroa. Giggs says Jones did not dislocate his left shoulder as had been the concern, and Welshman Giggs insists the defender can be selected in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, which will be announced on Monday.

    "Phil's injury is not as bad as I thought it was on the night," Giggs said. "He won't be available for Sunday (when United play Southampton), but he should be okay for the World Cup."

    The news that Jones should be fit for the tournament in Brazil is a boost for England manager Roy Hodgson, who needs the Manchester United defender as cover for right-back as Kyle Walker is in danger of missing out due to a pelvic injury. Hodgson will be concerned that star striker Wayne Rooney is still being troubled by a groin injury, although Giggs insists the player will be fit to fly to South America.

    Rooney has missed the last two United games with the problem and he will not partake in the final match of the season. "Wayne has just started training over the last couple of days and Sunday probably will come a bit too quick for him," Giggs said. "But he will obviously be fine for the World Cup also."

    Sunday's game at St Mary's Stadium will be the final one of Giggs' brief spell in charge. Louis van Gaal, the overwhelming favourite for the full-time position, said this week he would "love" to take charge at Old Trafford.

    Giggs, who is scheduled to meet executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward on Friday, is no nearer to deciding what he will do next season. "My stance is not any different to what it was last week," Giggs said. "Obviously there is huge speculation, but nothing has been announced yet and my job is to prepare the team for Southampton.

    "I am sure there will be an announcement soon and maybe I can comment on it then, but at the moment it is just speculation and there is nothing I can say. Obviously it has been a difficult season for everyone and when the management situation gets sorted out then we can move on. Like I said, that will probably be in the next couple of weeks."

    Giggs has won two games and lost one during his spell at the helm. When asked whether he had enjoyed his time in charge, Giggs said: "I think it just depends what time of day you are asking that question! Sometimes you probably think I could do without it and other times it gives you so much pleasure.

    "After the game last Saturday (when United lost to Sunderland) you probably think you could do without it, but you probably learn more from defeat and not doing so well just like when you are a player. I have enjoyed the whole experience and it has definitely helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career."

    Giggs, who has no previous management experience, has never been considered as a candidate to replace David Moyes, who was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract. The 40-year-old concedes he would be under a lot more pressure to deliver if he had been entrusted with the job on a full-time basis.

    "There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can't really win anything," Giggs said. "We can only qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that. You get a little taste of the pressure you are put under with regards to picking teams and wanting to do your best."

    United will only scrape into the Europa League on goal difference if they beat Saints and Tottenham lose at home to Aston Villa.

  2. #2
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Shearer: Take Lambert to Brazil

    Rickie Lambert should be on the FIFA World Cup™ plane to Brazil to give England an edge from the penalty spot and also provide a Plan B in support of Wayne Rooney, according to former captain Alan Shearer.

    Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson is set to name his squad for the finals on Monday following the end to the English Premier League season. Although Rooney will miss the chance to come up against Southampton forward Lambert at St. Mary's on Sunday because of a minor groin problem, the Manchester United striker is expected to once again lead England's attack on the big stage this summer.

    Just who will offer support remains to be seen - with the likes of United team-mate Danny Welbeck and Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge also in the frame, while West Ham frontman Andy Carroll could offer another choice as would Jermain Defoe, now playing in Major Soccer League with Toronto.

    However, Shearer - who spearheaded a formidable front partnership with Teddy Sheringham in the run to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 1996 and also played at the 1998 World Cup - believes Lambert would provide a cool head were the dreaded penalty shoot-out to stand in the way of England's progress once more this summer.

    "One of the reasons I would take Rickie Lambert is for that eventuality - how important have penalties been for England at major tournaments in the last 25 years?" Shearer said, who will be in Brazil as part of the BBC's World Cup coverage.

    "Lambert's record from penalties for Southampton is amazing, but I would take him to Brazil on merit for his overall contribution. To have him on your team, knowing that if it goes to a shoot-out he is a virtual banker, is a great feeling for a coach.

    "In open play, if we are struggling to score, he is a great option to have - he came on and scored with his first touch in international football against Scotland at Wembley, and that is a decent knack to have. My four picks as forwards would be Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck and Lambert. "You don't need to play for one of the top four to get a game for England now - look at all the Southampton players who are in contention."

    Shearer believes deploying someone like Saints playmaker Adam Lallana behind Sturridge would offer Rooney the chance to shine in his prefered deeper central role and finally make a mark on the World Cup.

    "It is a gap in the story of his career which he would like to fill, but he probably hasn't yet gone to a World Cup in the best of fitness and you can't argue with his record at international level overall," Shearer said, who scored 30 goals in 63 England caps.

    "Wayne has got 38 goals for England, he is only 11 short of Bobby Charlton's record, and I think he will go on to break it. But he needs to go out and have a big tournament with England, and if he does that, he will be the key to us having a successful World Cup. When Rooney plays well, England play well.

    "I am a fan of Rooney, I think he ticks all the boxes as a player, but for him to be put in the same bracket as Messi or Ronaldo, he needs to have a great tournament in Brazil - although having said that, Messi has yet to set the place on fire at a World Cup as well."

    Shearer believes a sense of realism might actually allow England to play with a freedom when for once the expectations of a nation will not weigh heavy on the "Golden Generation".

    "I am sick of us coming away from a World Cup, after so many of our players have had great seasons for their clubs, wondering why England have not done themselves justice," he said. "This time, I don't think many people expect us to do well, and that might work in our favour. I just wish an England side could come home from a big tournament and say, truthfully, they gave every last drop.

    "It would be great to see (Raheem) Sterling or Lallana have a great World Cup, something where we could see we are on the right track, people at home will accept that."

  3. #3
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Giggs: Rooney, Januzaj will shine in Brazil

    Ryan Giggs has backed Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj to take the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ by storm. Rooney will miss a third successive game for Manchester United due to a groin problem, although Giggs is sure the England forward will be fit enough to go to the World Cup.

    But while Rooney is a household name opposition teams will be well aware of, Januzaj is something of an unknown threat. The 19-year-old may have had a good season with United, but he is yet to earn an international cap. The midfielder only pledged his allegiance to Belgium - the country of his birth - last month.

    David Moyes used Januzaj sparingly towards the end of his tenure as United boss as he feared the teenager would break down due to exhaustion. But Giggs has no qualms about Januzaj heading to Brazil with his new international team-mates this summer.

    "Adnan is the kind of player who could light up a World Cup, whether that is starting games or off the bench," said the United interim player-manager, who started Januzaj in the 3-1 win over Hull on Tuesday. "I was excited when he got the ball the other night - when I was on the pitch and on the bench. He floats with the ball effortlessly. He is just one of those players you love watching."

    Belgium are outsiders in the running for World Cup glory, but with the likes of Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Januzaj and Simon Mignolet - who have all impressed in the English Premier League this season - among their ranks, they have the potential to reach the latter stages.

    England will hope to reach that stage in the tournament too. And they will rely heavily on Rooney to get there. Rooney is England's most dangerous player. His power, pace and eye for goal will worry Italy, Costa Rica and Uruguay, who make up Group D. But the fact remains that the 28-year-old has yet to live up to his billing on the global stage.

    Rooney's previous two World Cup campaigns have been hampered by injury, and hie best international tournament came ten years ago, when he burst onto the scene at Euro 2004. Giggs is sure Rooney can be a leading star for England this summer though. "Wayne is at the peak of his powers," said Giggs, who has played alongside Rooney for ten years. "Wayne is a top player. He is at a good age. I know for a fact he can't wait for it. He has had a fantastic season and he is ready to make an impact."

    Rooney broke a metatarsal in April 2006, limiting his impact at the World Cup in Germany and four years later he suffered an ankle injury just before the tournament in South Africa. The former Everton striker recently had a spell out with a toe injury and he now has a groin complaint.

    The injury will not stop the striker scoring goals at the World Cup, according to Giggs, who is also confident that Phil Jones will be named in Roy Hodgson's 23 on Monday despite a shoulder injury. "Wayne will be fine for the World Cup," Giggs said. "It was just a little groin strain. He is fine. He has done all the work in the gym. He trained yesterday. He will be fine. He is going away next week and working on his fitness as well so it has probably helped him. The injury has probably done him a favour."

  4. #4
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Hodgson: I won't obsess over penalties

    England manager Roy Hodgson will not over-emphasise the subject of penalties when they begin preparations for the FIFA World Cup™.

    Hodgson will make the toughest call of his 38-year career in management when he names his 23-man squad for the World Cup. Seven days later England begin a three-week build-up which takes place in Portugal, London and Miami. The subject of penalty kicks will barely be raised during that time. England have won just one of the seven penalty shoot-outs they have taken part in. But Hodgson will only discuss the topic at length with his squad if they qualify for the knockout stages.

    "I've got to say the subject of penalties bores me a little bit," the England manager said. "I won't be giving it an enormous amount of thought until we get out of the group stages. Of course we will practice a few, as every single team does. But I would think psychologically the obsession we have with penalty shoot-outs can only be negative in terms of succeeding in the next one.
    "I'm not a psychologist, but I think if you go around all day worrying about a particular problem in life there's a much greater chance that problem will become greater than if you are able to put that problem out of your mind."

    Hodgson believes constant practice from the penalty spot can only help so much. The 66-year-old is aware that the psychological struggle is the biggest when it comes to spot-kicks. Ashley Cole and Ashley Young had a 100 per cent record in practice during UEFA EURO 2012, Hodgson revealed, but they both missed from 12 yards against Italy.

    Hodgson recalls the USA 1994 penalty miss by Roberto Baggio - "one of the best technicians I have worked with" - as evidence that pressure and not skill is the biggest factor when it comes to penalty shoot-outs.

    "The best way of not losing on penalties is not to get to them," Hodgson said.

    But if England fans hope the appointment of Dr. Steve Peters as team psychiatrist will help end England's awful record, then they must think again.

    "If we win or lose on penalties, it won't be because Steve Peters has joined us," the former Liverpool manager said. "Steve Peters has nothing to do with penalties. It's not his responsibility at all."

    Peters, acclaimed in his field for the work he has done with Liverpool, Team GB and Ronnie O'Sullivan among others, will be available to speak to players on a one-to-one basis if they need him. Hodgson, who is a fan of Peters' "fascinating" book, The Chimp Paradox, will not force his players to regularly interact with the psychiatrist, who was recommended to him by British Cycling's former performance director Dave Brailsford.

    "I've got a very curious group of players, an open minded group of players," Hodgson said. "I wouldn't be at all surprised if quite a few others wanted to come and speak to him and find out what he's got to say, how they can better prepare mentally for matches. But I don't intend to say to the players 'This is Steve Peters, you must go to see him'. They will go to him if they want to go to him."

    Provisional squad selection looms
    Hodgson will name his 23-man squad, along with up to seven stand-by players, at 2pm on Monday in Luton.

    The England manager says he selected his squad "weeks ago", but he has had to make several alterations due to injuries to Theo Walcott, Andros Townsend and Jay Rodriguez. Further changes will be required if Kyle Walker and Phil Jones are ruled out with their respective pelvic and shoulder injuries.

    One of the main talking points will be whether Hodgson includes Ashley Cole or Luke Shaw as understudy to Leighton Baines. Hodgson has not ruled out taking all three.

    If Jones and Walker are ruled out, Hodgson is likely to draft in another centre-half - possibly either Steven Caulker of Cardiff or Everton teenager John Stones, who only made his first English Premier League start on New Year's Day.

    Up front Hodgson must decide whether to include either Rickie Lambert of Southampton, Andy Carroll of West Ham or Jermain Defoe of Toronto.

    Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick will be concerned about their places after a poor year with Manchester United while Hodgson must decide between John Ruddy, Fraser Forster and Jack Butland for the third goalkeeper position.

  5. #5
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Hodgson names youthful England squad

    Michael Carrick, Andy Carroll and Kyle Walker have been left out of the 23-man England squad named by Roy Hodgson for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

    Carrick has paid the price for a poor season with Manchester United while West Ham United striker Carroll has been named on the standby list after a season ravaged by injury. Tottenham Hotspur defender Walker misses out due to a pelvic injury.

    As expected, teenage left-back Luke Shaw makes the cut ahead of Ashley Cole, who retired from international football on Sunday night after being told he had not made the squad. Rickie Lambert, who has scored 14 goals this season, gets the nod ahead of Carroll.

    Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who now plays for Toronto FC, is only good enough for a place on the standby list. Carrick rejected the chance to be on the standby list for UEFA EURO 2012, but he has accepted the same position this time around. Carrick is joined in Hodgson's contingency planning by Tom Cleverley, who has not made the 23 despite starting nine consecutive games under Hodgson at the start of the 2012/13 season.

    Hodgson has selected just four strikers for the tournament in Brazil, which kicks off on 12 June. Wayne Rooney will be the leading striker, with Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Lambert in support. Frank Lampard, 35, makes the cut, but otherwise there is a youthful look about England's midfield selection.

    Ross Barkley, 20, has been selected, alongside Liverpool teenager Raheem Sterling. Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are in the 23 despite their recent injury concerns.

    Adam Lallana, who has three caps, has been rewarded for a fine year with Southampton by being included. James Milner is also favoured ahead of the likes of Adam Johnson and Ashley Young - neither of whom made the squad or standby list.

    England squad

    Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Ben Foster (West Bromwich Albion), Fraser Forster (Celtic)

    Defenders:
    Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

    Midfielders:
    Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

    Attackers:
    Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

    Standby:
    John Ruddy (Norwich City), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto FC).

    * Squad lists are only official once they have been confirmed and published by FIFA on 16 May at 12:00 CET.

  6. #6
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Hodgson leaves door ajar for Cole

    Roy Hodgson has left the door open for Ashley Cole to come out of international retirement if Leighton Baines suffers a serious injury in the build-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

    After 13 years' service, Cole retired from international duty on Sunday after Hodgson informed the Chelsea left-back he had not made his 23-man squad, which was officially announced on Monday. Hodgson has opted for Baines and 18-year-old Luke Shaw in his squad instead of Cole.

    Should Baines get an injury, Hodgson would be left with Shaw as his only option at left-back. Shaw may be one of the most exciting players in the Premier League, but he only has 45 minutes of international experience in his locker.

    When asked whether he would consider calling Cole up if Baines suffered an injury, the England manager said: "You would have to ask Ashley that....I would like to think so."

    Hodgson has not named Cole in his squad or standby list, but FIFA rules state the England boss could draft the 33-year-old in if Baines gets injured after 2 June. Hodgson insisted he could not place Cole on his seven-man standby list out of respect for the Chelsea defender, who has 107 caps.

    If Cole does not make a return after possibly the briefest spell in retirement, Hodgson's only other option would be to draft standby player Jon Flanagan - a natural right-back - into the 23.

    Hodgson admits the decision to axe Cole could come back to haunt him. "Circumstances could make the decision a very good one or it could make it a very bad one," Hodgson said.

    "If Baines suffered an injury (in the friendly) against Peru (on 30 May), it would make the selection of Shaw a very bad selection. If we go through the World Cup with Baines playing the majority of games and Shaw coming on and doing very well it makes it a very good one."

    Youthful optimism

    There was disappointment for Michael Carrick, Andy Carroll and Tom Cleverley, who were named on the standby list, rather than in the 23. Hodgson instead opted for a youthful and bold 23 by selecting Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson and Shaw.

    England are 40-1 with some bookmakers to lift the World Cup trophy on 14 July, but Hodgson sees no reason for pessimism. "I believe the squad can win the World Cup," he said. "Otherwise what's the point?!"

    Wayne Rooney is keen to make sure he does not flop for the third World Cup in a row. The Manchester United striker, who failed to score in the 2010 and 2006 tournaments, has missed the last three games of the season with a groin injury, but he will undergo an extra week's training to make sure he is fit and ready for Brazil.

    "I said to the players that I am more than happy for them to go and forget football for a week and go and get themselves mentally-prepared for the many weeks we have ahead," Hodgson added.

    "But Wayne has decided to take some physios with him where he is going and to continue his programme as he is so determined that when we meet up on the 19th he'll be able to join in straight away. It's quite laudable that that's the way he thinks and I'm not trying to dissuade him."

    Hodgson's only injury concern is Phil Jones, who was named in the 23 despite a shoulder injury. Uncapped Everton teenager John Stones will be drafted into the squad if Jones does not recover, Hodgson confirmed.

  7. #7
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Shaw: I'm still shocked

    Southampton left-back Luke Shaw still cannot quite believe he has been selected for England's FIFA World Cup™ squad.

    The 18-year-old admitted when he heard about Ashley Cole's retirement from international football on Sunday and did not receive a phone call, he presumed he had been left out. And although he had confirmation he was on the plane to Brazil the following day he still finds himself pinching himself.

    "I seriously can't believe it still," he said. "When I found out Ashley Cole wasn't going I had that thought it could be me going but I didn't want to over-think saying 'I am definitely going' because I didn't receive anything that night.

    "I thought everyone was getting a phone call on Sunday night and I was speaking with Ads (Adam Lallana) and Lambo (Rickie Lambert) asking if they had got one and once it went past 10pm none of us had had the call so we thought we were among the seven not going.

    "When the squad came out the next afternoon me and my family sat there thinking 'I'm 18 and I'm going to a World Cup'. Four years ago I was sat at home watching it on my sofa. It is going to be so weird."

    Shaw added on Saints Player: "I am still shocked that I am actually going. You always had that thought in your head that you might be picked because Roy (Hodgson) was watching a lot of our games, not just for me of course.

    "But I wasn't expecting it. I thought I might be in the 30-man squad so to represent my country at a World Cup when I am only 18 is the best feeling in the world and I want more of it. Time flies. A year ago I made my Under-21 debut and now I'm going to a World Cup. Things can happen so fast. I am going to pray I don't get injured so I can be on that plane to Brazil."

    Defoe devastated
    By contrast, being overlooked for the squad broke Jermain Defoe's heart and provided him with the lowest moment of his career, the Toronto striker has claimed.

    Defoe, who has 55 caps to his name, was told by Roy Hodgson at the weekend that he would not be going to Brazil this summer. The 31-year-old has the scant consolation of being on the standby list and although he is willing to fly out if asked, he admits to being at his lowest ebb.

    "This was, without doubt, the lowest point of my career," he told the Sun. "I'm devastated. I can't remember much of the conversation. As soon as he told me I was not in the squad I switched off. I was heartbroken. I got left out of the squad in 2006 by Sven-Goran Eriksson after travelling to the training camp and never wanted to feel that low again. This feels far worse than then."

    Defoe, who has 19 goals for England, swapped the English Premier League for Major League Soccer in February but does not believe that is the reason for his omission.

    "Some people are talking like I've been here for four years rather than two months," he added. "I never had a discussion with Roy about any possible impact on my England chances coming here because I didn't feel the need to. And I did read a quote from him, saying that me playing in MLS doesn't change anything because he knows me as a player."

  8. #8
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Madame Tussauds honours Sir Bobby Moore

    With only weeks to go before the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, Madame Tussauds London has unveiled a new wax figure of the hero of the 1966 competition, England captain Bobby Moore. The figure was revealed for the first time on the pitch where Moore played for most of his career - West Ham United's Boleyn Ground, standing in front of the Bobby Moore Stand.

    The staggeringly lifelike figure shows Moore in jubilant celebration after leading England to a 4-2 victory over West Germany in the World Cup Final. Smiling triumphantly, the figure is dressed in vintage England kit and holds aloft a replica of the Jules Rimet Trophy, which has been faithfully replicated by the attraction’s talented studio artists.

    One of the first fans to meet the Bobby Moore wax figure this morning was well known, 12-year-old West Ham supporter, Jonjo Heuerman from London. He said: “The figure looked so real! I've watched a lot of videos of him so I loved seeing him here on the pitch today. It's quite emotional - Bobby's come home."

    Another fan to meet the figure, Kelly Ward, 41, from Reading, added: "It's amazing, seeing the figure gave me goosebumps – it's so lifelike, everything is just spot on. Having the Jules Rimet Cup in his hands is the cherry on the top."

    The figure's creation was the result of a hotly contested public vote last year, with Bobby Moore taking more than 90 per cent of a Madame Tussauds London poll to determine which footballing great should be honoured at the world famous attraction in time for this year’s World Cup.

    “We wanted to create a figure of a footballing legend for this year's competition, but who that should be opened up huge debate," commented Nicole Fenner, PR Manager at Madame Tussauds London. "We decided to let football fans decide, and there was overwhelming consensus with Bobby Moore beating other legends like Ronaldo, Maradona and Pele with the lion share of votes.”

    Roberta Moore, Bobby Moore’s daughter, who is already planning a trip to Madame Tussauds London to see the figure first hand, said: "I remember going to Madame Tussauds with my dad when I was a little girl for the unveiling of the original wax figure, so this has brought back very fond memories. Madame Tussauds have really done an amazing job, the new figure really captures his smile, which made me cry! I feel very proud."

  9. #9
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Hodgson: Rooney will be ready

    England's FIFA World Cup™ adventure could not have got off to a better start in the eyes of Roy Hodgson, especially given the way Wayne Rooney has hit the ground running.

    It is just three weeks until the Three Lions get their tournament under way against Group D favourites Italy in Manaus, deep in the heart of the Amazon. England are spending time in the Algarve and Miami in preparation for the expected hot and humid conditions, although their training camp in Portugal has not exactly gone to plan so far weather-wise.

    The squad arrived in Vale do Lobo on Monday and, after torrential rain on their second day, were greeted by blustery conditions for their first and only open training session in front of more than 100 journalists and cameramen on Wednesday.

    Not that Hodgson believes that has hampered preparations.

    "It feels like the start of a big adventure," he said. "This is an excellent place to have a training camp. The first three days have gone as well as I could have possibly hoped for. There's a long way to go and a lot more days to get through, but we're off to a good start.

    "It's been a very good three days. If we have the next two days in the same vein as these last three I shall be very happy. I'm finding it tremendous. I've really enjoyed being with them these two or three days. I'm impressed by the way they've approached this task and are going about their business. They've impressed me so many times in the past."

    One of the those to have caught Hodgson's eye is Rooney, whose dedication to the cause was highlighted last week. Having missed the last three matches of Manchester United's woeful season, the 28-year-old took two fitness coaches on his pre-tournament holiday to Portugal in a bid to get back to full fitness.

    That dedication has made an impression on Hodgson - "he is looking very good, very good indeed," he said - and makes the England boss believe Rooney can finally enjoy a big World Cup. Should that not be the case then Hodgson insists it will not be "for the want of trying or want of dedication".

    He said: "He realises what a good player he is and he knows we, as a football nation, place a lot of faith in him. He knows the eyes of England, if not the rest of the world, are on him. He will do everything he can, I'm sure, to make sure he brings out his best qualities.

    "As you know, the players had a week off and he spent his week off here in Portugal and trained in that time. He made certain he got over that injury and he said to me, 'When you arrive in Monday and I meet you there, I want to be 100 per cent ready to train from the first day'. And that's exactly how it was."

    Hodgson is still treading carefully with Rooney, though, and disappointed the forward by keeping him out of a shooting drill on Wednesday as a precaution after being involved in the rest of the session.

    United team-mate Phil Jones was again restricted to a light session with physio Steve Kemp as he continues his return from a shoulder injury, training with his standby John Stones after the Everton defender tweaked his knee on Tuesday.

    "It was nice to see Phil Jones in the warm-up. He is going very, very well, it looks like he might be taking some part before the end of the week in some sort of football activities," Hodgson said. "Apart from those two, everyone is fit and well.

    "At the moment, things are looking good for Peru (whom England face in a friendly at Wembley on 30 May). In training sessions, things are always going to happen - a knock or a slight kick - but so far so good. We have come through it totally unscathed apart from John Stones. He will train tomorrow."

  10. #10
    Strict but fair Andrushenka's Avatar
    Join Date
    28-12-2005
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    27,065
    Uploads
    106

    Lambert: World Cup a dream come true

    Rickie Lambert is living in a dream world right now, having completed the journey from the scrapheap to secure a place in England's FIFA World Cup™ squad. The story of how the striker spent time working in a beetroot factory has almost become cliched but encapsulates his remarkable rise.

    Lambert worked there after being released by Blackpool in 2000, before going on to spend time in England's lower tiers at Macclesfield, Stockport, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers before making a £1m move to Southampton five years ago.

    At that point the striker's "whole lifestyle changed" as he began the transformation from lower-league marksman to one of the most consistent goalscorers in the English Premier League. Despite that, Lambert only gave himself a 50-50 chance of going to Brazil ahead of Andy Carroll, so when the call came from Roy Hodgson the 32-year-old was understandably emotional.

    "I have been here for a few days and it is a dream come true, it is as simple as that," he said at England's training base in Portugal. "I know I have said that before but it is. It means everything to me and it is the best moment of my career and I am enjoying every minute.

    "I am going to enjoy every minute of it, especially the games. The first game against Italy, the atmosphere - that is what I have dreamt of all my life and now I am going to be there. They are the moments that will live with me for the rest of my life."

    Just four years ago Lambert was like the rest of the general public, watching the action in South Africa unfold on television. That was the summer after his £1m move from Bristol Rovers, with his first season seeing Saints just fall short of the English third tier's play-offs due to a ten-point deduction.

    "My career was just starting to pick up [four years ago]," Lambert said. "I was in League One and had just joined Southampton. We just missed out on getting in the play-offs but we won the Johnstone's Paint Trophy so it was a good season. Obviously, it was a million miles away from where I am now.

    "It is brilliant. To come from League One, not me personally but the club, four years later to have three in the England team is unbelievable and it is a credit to everyone involved."

    Lambert has flourished under the management of Alan Pardew, Nigel Adkins and Mauricio Pochettino, scoring more than 100 goals for Southampton in the process. The frontman has shone despite continually being written off, although it had looked even a year ago as if an international call-up would be beyond him.

    Having been overlooked despite a fine debut Premier League season, Lambert poked fun at his situation by making out he was committing his future to the New Zealand national team. That, though, was an April Fool's joke and one which Roy Hodgson may well have taken note of, handing him his first England cap four-and-a-half months later. Lambert netted in a dream debut against Scotland and the call-up led to a number of Southampton team-mates joining him in the senior set-up.

    There are now three Saints players in the 23-man England squad, with team-mates Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw living together at the club's Vale do Lobo training camp. As the youngest, 18-year-old Shaw got the smallest bed of the trio but has earned Lambert's unwavering respect.

    "It is frightening what he has done in a year," he said of the left-back. "When he first joined the first team he took it so well and his progression has been frightening. It is full credit to him. His attitude is spot on and I know for a fact that he's going to keep that attitude. He is not going to get carried away because he knows what is important in life, really."

Page 1 of 7 1236 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. England v Denmark /wed /5th
    By 35jor in forum Live Sports Schedules
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-03-2014, 11:12:52
  2. S*y Germany in England
    By RobinT in forum English (UK)
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-12-2010, 16:23:54
  3. Update Cox Upgrades VOD App In New England
    By Sat-Net in forum Daily Satellite TV News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-08-2009, 16:34:29
  4. England Cricket
    By jamesy007 in forum Gamma Card
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-05-2009, 16:37:09
  5. Hi frm England
    By noobie in forum Introductions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-05-2008, 15:21:33

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •