Le Tissier Stakes His World Cup Claim

Daily Mail (London), April 22, 1998 | Go to article overview

Le Tissier Stakes His World Cup Claim


Byline: BRIAN SCOVELL

MATTHEW LE TISSIER played himself into Glenn Hoddle's World Cup plans last night with one of the classiest displays of skill and finishing from an England player in years.

Le Tissier scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 win by Glenn Hoddle's B team against Russia at Loftus Road, hit the crossbar early on and a post near the end, and ran the show like a man who knows his time has come. Even Paul Gascoigne, whose place he is now threatening, has never produced a performance like it in an England shirt.

Admittedly, the Russians fielded their Under 23 side, while England had seven players of 25 or over, including six full internationals.

But this was still something special from Le Tissier, making his first appearance for his country in 14 months. Hoddle, sitting contentedly in the directors' box, has always had faith in Le Tissier and, at 29, he has finally justified it.

The other players can do the scurrying around. There are only a handful in the world who can do things like this and it is a pity the B team party were sent home after the game because 15 minutes of Le Tissier at Wembley tonight might just tip the balance in what is sure to be a tight game. England B manager

Peter Taylor said: 'I think Glenn sees something of himself in Mattie. Glenn used to score goals from nothing and so does he.' Le Tissier said: 'Those are the first England goals I've scored since an Under 21 trip to Brazil many moons ago, so it was very pleasing. I've never given up hope of making the World Cup squad but I still think I've only got a slim chance. …

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