Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Lacked a Bit of Nous, They Can Learn a Lot from Modric

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Players Lacked a Bit of Nous, They Can Learn a Lot from Modric

Article excerpt

Byline: Danny Murphy

GARETH SOUTHGATE and this team have created a feelgood factor about English football that we have not had for a long time. That is a massive positive to take from this World Cup.

The public have fallen back in love with the national team and everybody would have taken a run to the semifinals before the tournament started. Some may see it as a missed opportunity but we did as well as we could have done with the squad of players we have available.

And this team are capable of going on and being better because our quality players are all young enough, so we have a very bright future. We have a lot of players who some people did not really think were up to it and they have shown that they are players such as Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kieran Trippier.

Those players now have an understanding of tournament football and positive experiences to take forward. They will be hurting about the way things ended but I do not think any of them are going to go away scarred. If anything, they will go away feeling positive about what they can achieve together.

England will learn from this tournament and the defeat last night. We have learned that you have to kill teams off and that sometimes you have got to be pragmatic at the highest level and know how to stifle a game when you are under pressure.

We have been knocked out by a team who have superb footballers who know how to control a game. Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic play for Real Madrid and Barcelona for a reason. They manage the game so well and because they do not get flustered by the size of the occasion, they have more energy. And we maybe do not have that nous.

We looked a bit leggy in extra time. The whole thing looked like it had got too much for us and that could be because of our lack of experience. Keeping the ball means the other team have to work hard to stop you, whereas fatigue sets in when you are chasing the ball. When you are in control of the game you are running less, the ball is doing the work and you feel better. Modric (below), Rakitic and Ivan Perisic are calm in situations when most players are not calm and the way they controlled large parts of the game is something we can learn from. …

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