Under Gareth Southgate, the spirit and togetherness around this England team is the best we have seen in a long time.
From the “Lions Den” Youtube content, to open training sessions that give fans an opportunity to meet the players, the squad look closer to the fans than ever before.
But Marcus Rashford has admitted that this hasn’t always been the case.
Roy Hodgson managed England for four years from 2012-2016, and left the national team after the 2016 Euros after they were knocked out by Iceland in the Round of 16.
When speaking to the media this week, Rashford wasn’t shy in comparing the two eras.
“You look at that performance against Iceland when we got knocked out of the Euros and it’s a million miles off where we are now. You can’t even compare the two situations, and you can’t compare the feeling around the camp.”
“Before Southgate came in, I was only there for a short period of time. But the standard of training wasn’t as high. For players, it’s black and white: if you’re not training well you can’t expect to play well. You have to put the work in and earn the right to win football matches.”
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Rashford was rewarded for his good performances this season with Manchester United with a place in the England World Cup squad and scored in the three Lions’ first game against Iran straight after coming off the bench.
Fans will hope that the dark days of English football have been left behind as Southgate looks to lead England as far as possible in the World Cup, a tournament that could likely be his last in charge.