Kenny Sansom exclusive: the England legend tells Zap Sportz there’s no excuse for players not to give their all for their country.
England have qualified for the World Cup with ease, but it’s not been impressive. The fans have not been impressed. They think there should be more to come from this team. The fans want answers. Gareth Southgate is the one to give the answers.
Fans aren’t silly, they know when a team is not playing well. England haven’t been playing the way they can. If it doesn’t come, you have to look at the manager. I’m a fan too. We can all see that these players ‘could do better’.
We’ve qualified easily, but now Southgate needs to get the players together as much as possible. With friendlies, his job starts now. Going to watch players, meeting up, he must get chances to see as many players as possible.
The players must put all of their abilities onto that pitch and give it all they have got. Fans won’t boo them if they do that. If I got all my crosses in, I’d done my job. Gareth must get all the players on the pitch to do their job.
The atmosphere for the Slovenia game at Wembley was weird, with people throwing paper airplanes onto the pitch. Fans know that the players are better than that. Why are these players not doing it for their country?
I wanted to be man of the match every time I played. That was my mindset. I did my job for my team. When I played at Wembley, the fans cheered you. Robbo would chase every ball and fans could see that you are trying.
Ninety percent of fans want to see their team try to win. If you try but lose 1-0 the fans won’t boo, but if players aren’t trying, then there will be boos.
There’s no excuse for not putting yourself out, even if players think they’re safe in the squad and there isn’t a big pool of players for England to choose from. Fans need to lift their team too.
The manager and his staff and players must work on things. Small things can make a big difference and there’s a lot of work to do on the training pitch. The manager needs to demand 100% effort from his players. I’d do the job. I’d do it for nothing! Well, maybe expenses!