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Thread: [STORY] The World of Football Management - Chapter 5 - Pride of England

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    Henderson Confirms Coaching Team

    Fresh from watching numerous players in action as the season officially got underway, Mark Henderson today confirmed that he'd be working with four ex-England internationals and a further two have been tasked with looking after the 'B' and 'Under 21' squads. It represents a move to keep the DNA of the national team alive with a potential eye towards the future in terms of who could be the next England manager once Henderson's time has come to an end.



    Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins are the first two established ex-internationals to be announced as part of Mark Henderson's staff.

    Ex-Middlesbrough and West Brom manager Bryan Robson was once a midfield icon at Manchester United and earned 90 caps for England in an 11 year spell. He leaves his role as a Global Ambassador at Old Trafford to take over the English Under 21 managerial role. It's understood that Robson will work closely with Mark Henderson to work to a particular remit in terms of selecting English under 21 talent.

    Ray Wilkins meanwhile has built up a credible career as a coach within the game. He does have experience at management from his early days at QPR and Fulham but went on to coach at Chelsea for many years and will be returning to the international set-up having once managed the under 21's. This time, the ex-midfielder, who earned 84 caps during a player career that saw him play for Chelsea, Man Utd, Milan, PSG, Rangers and QPR amongst others, will be taking over the English 'B' squad. The 'B' team don't have many games scheduled and it's understood that he'll assist Bryan Robson in the Under 21 squad and both will also contribute to coaching the senior side as well.


    Four of England's so-called 'Golden Generation' have all been confirmed as new England coaches. David Seaman, Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham and Michael Owen made up the nucleus of the England side in the early noughties and all four have been hired for their respective departments.

    David Seaman, with experience of many tournaments under his belt and 75 caps was understood to be the first choice for Mark Henderson to coach his goalkeepers, replacing David Watson.

    Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen meanwhile will be retiring from their roles as TV pundits to take to the training pitch as defensive and attacking coaches. Ferdinand (81) and Owen (89) have 170 caps between them and David Beckham will add a further 115 to the team after years of being the national team captain. He will of course, look after the midfielders and set piece delivery.

    It's a clear nod by Henderson to the respected players of the international past in adding such icons to the coaching team. It's also believed that Henderson feels that this particular group of stars can go on to form a team to look after the national side for the next few generations, learning from the manager himself and that of Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson.

    All six will also be attending matches involving England players up and down the country with Henderson set to announce the England squad on the 24th August.

    Most recently, Henderson was seen at the Charity Shield in Wembley where he was undoubtedly left unimpressed as only Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling started in a Man City side that defeated Arsenal 2:0. The Gunners only had Theo Walcott starting as an English. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers and Fabian Delph did make appearances from the bench.

    It's likely that Henderson will have been more impressed with Everton's European run, seeing Carl Jenkinson, Leighton Baines, John Stones, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jagielka, Aaron Lennon, Leon Osman, Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry and a 19 year old Charley Edge feature as the Toffees reached the final only to be beaten 2:1 on aggregate by Italy's Napoli.

    As the domestic campaign then got underway, Henderson made it clear that he had been impressed with the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane's superb form while also giving surprising commendations to the likes of Michael Mancienne, Matt Smith, Tom Hopper, Benik Afobe and Jake Forster-Cassidy during his travels.

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  3. #27
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    A nice mix of youth and experience in the backroom staff, and all six are England legends (well, 'legends' is a bit strong, but they all have plenty of caps - you know what I mean!) so hopefully they should be able to inspire the new generation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    It's understood that Robson will work closely with Mark Henderson to work to a particular remit in terms of selecting English under 21 talent.
    Sounds like you might be controlling the U21s yourself then?

    All that scouting, and the left-field names highlighted, suggests you might be picking players on form... How long before your first match?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuy View Post
    A nice mix of youth and experience in the backroom staff, and all six are England legends (well, 'legends' is a bit strong, but they all have plenty of caps - you know what I mean!) so hopefully they should be able to inspire the new generation.



    Sounds like you might be controlling the U21s yourself then?

    All that scouting, and the left-field names highlighted, suggests you might be picking players on form... How long before your first match?
    Yep, under the guise of Robson, I'll play as U21 manager too.

    By form, something like that, yes. First game is in September so first squad to be announced will be in August after only 1 EPL game.
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    Henderson and Robson confirm England Squads

    The Football Association have today confirmed the England Senior and Under 21 squads to face Slovenia in two weeks time.

    The World Cup Qualifiers will get underway at Wembley with Slovenia coming to the country to take on the senior team. The Under 21's will face each other the evening before at the Emirates Stadium in London.

    England Squad
    Fraser Forster - Southampton - 28 - 5/0 - GK.
    Jack Butland - Stoke - 23 - 4/0 - GK.
    Ben Foster - West Brom - 33 - 8/0 - GK.
    John Stones - Everton - 22 - 16/0 - DRC.
    Eric Dier - Tottenham - 22 - 12/1 - D/DMRC.
    Nathaniel Clyne - Chelsea - 25 - 16/0 - DR.
    Chris Smalling - Man Utd - 26 - 30/1 - DRC.
    Danny Rose - Tottenham - 26 - 4/0 - D/AML.
    Kyle Walker - Tottenham - 26 - 19/0 - DR.
    Ryan Shawcross - Stoke - 28 - 6/0 - DC.
    Ryan Bertrand - Southampton - 27 - 7/0 - D/ML.
    Michael Mancienne - Chelsea - 28 - 0/0 - D/DMC.
    Wayne Rooney - FC Bayern - 30 - 115/53 - FC.
    Theo Walcott - Arsenal - 27 - 51/9 - FRLC.
    Jordan Henderson - Liverpool - 26 - 30/1 - MRC.
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Arsenal - 23 - 27/5 - AMRLC.
    Danny Welbeck - Arsenal - 25 - 35/14 - FRLC.
    Adam Lallana - Liverpool - 28 - 26/1 - AMRLC.
    Ross Barkley - Everton - 22 - 22/2 - AMC.
    Fabian Delph - Man City - 26 - 9/0 - MC.
    Tom Ince - Derby - 24 - 0/0 - AMRL.
    Jack Rodwell - Sunderland - 25 - 2/0 - DMC.
    Ashley Westwood - Aston Villa - 26 - 0/0 - DMC.
    Harry Kane - Tottenham - 23 - 18/9 - SC.
    Daniel Sturridge - Chelsea - 26 - 24/5 - FC.
    Jamie Vardy - Leicester - 29 - 11/2 - SC.



    That's definitely along the lines of what Henderson was talking about after his appointment. He spoke about selecting only players that have performed and you can't deny that this group of players haven't done that so far, even if some teams have only played one game at this stage. There's definitely some surprises, there's no Joe Hart or Jack Wilshere or Gary Cahill or Phil Jones, players you might have expected to walk into the squad. It's very interesting to see Michael Mancienne, Jack Rodwell, Ashley Westwood and Tom Ince in there but will they get a game?

    England U21 Squad
    Luke Simpson - Brentford (MK Dons) - 21 - GK.
    Ross Etheridge - Accrington - 21 - GK.
    Joe Lumley - Plymouth - 21 - GK.
    Calum Chambers - Arsenal - 21 - DRC.
    Joe Gomez - Liverpool - 19 - DRLC.
    Cameron Borthwick-Jackson - Man Utd - 19 - DL.
    Jerome Williams - Aston Villa - 21 - DLC.
    Cameron Carter-Vickers - Tottenham - 18 - DC.
    Bryn Morris - Middlesbrough - 20 - D/DMC.
    Jake Cooper - Hull - 21 - DC.
    Greg Leigh - MK Dons - 21 - DL.
    Darnell Furlong - QPR - 20 - DR.
    Raheem Sterling - Man City - 21 - AM/FRLC.
    Dele Alli - Tottenham - 20 - AMC.
    Will Hughes - West Ham - 21 - AMRLC.
    Ruben Loftus-Cheek - Aston Villa - 20 - DMC.
    Jordon Ibe - Liverpool - AMRL - 20 - AMRL.
    Callum Gribben - Derby - 17 - MC.
    Liam Agnew - Sunderland - 20 - MC.
    Ademola Lookman - Charlton - 18 - FLC.
    Aaron Tshibola - Colchester - 21 - MC.
    James Maddison - Norwich - 19 - AM/FC.
    Cameron Brannigan - Cardiff - 20 - DMC.
    Cauley Woodrow - Fulham - 21 - SC.
    Devante Cole - Hull - 21 - SC.
    Karlan Aheane-Grant - Charlton - 20 - SC.



    Well, what's going on here then? That's a very interesting squad indeed with Raheem Sterling, Dele Alli and Calum Chambers being included despite caps for the national team. There's a few that you'd expect to see in there anyway, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Will Hughes and Joe Gomez but I'm willing to bet that some of you haven't heard of Joe Lumley or Ross Etheridge, both of whom play in League Two! It's an interesting mix of players, that's for sure but can you honestly say that this is what we see as the future of England?

    Pundits Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas have offered their opinions on the squad selections but what do YOU think? Ask your own questions below!

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    Interesting stuff. Never controlled under 21 side before.

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    26 players is a big squad for a single match - will you be looking to trim it further in the coming days? Are there any injury or fitness worries in the camp?

    I see Will Hughes and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are presumably now getting regular Premier League football (or were Aston Villa relegated? Actually, could you maybe give a roundup of the key moments from the season you holidayed through?) - is this something that you feel is important for young players' development?

    Likewise, has Wayne Rooney's exposure to a foreign league brought something new to the squad?

    Will the U21s play in the same way as the senior squad, or will they utilise the formation and tactics that best suit the personnel available?

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    It's not exactly all change, but there are certainly some big names missing.

    Is it true that Joe Hart told you he couldn't play because he was washing his hair that night ?

    Is this jobs for the boys .... Jack Butland and Ryan Shawcross .... what made you pick 2 players from the team you support ?

    Who the **** are Lumley, Etheridge, Tshibola and Ahean-Grant ? Would they have been selected if they played for Port Vale ?

    You have picked 6 players who are essentially forwards. Does that mean we can expect a more attacking brand of football that followers of Henderson might be used to ?

    There will be demand from supporters for Emile Heskey to be recalled. How long will you be able to resist those calls ?

    When are you going to resign ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuy View Post
    Likewise, has Wayne Rooney's exposure to a foreign league brought something new to the squad?
    German grannies
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    The World of Football Management - Chapter 5 - Pride of England

    What does Bryan Robson know about the youth level?
    Maybe would have thought one of the 'Golden Generation' better suited for that?

    Didn't even know Owen/Ferdinand were in the game to be hired as coaches?!

    Is Wilkins a good appointment considering he was in court this week (well - he didn't turn up) for 3 times over limit for drink driving

    What's Harts rating like compared to those picked?

    I like the strong looking under 21 squad

    Who is your Captain?

    Any WAG gossip in this story?

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    Is Jordan Henderson related to you? Can't think why else you would pick him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beardo View Post
    Interesting stuff. Never controlled under 21 side before.
    Me neither! Thought it'd add a dimension to the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    German grannies


    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Didn't even know Owen/Ferdinand were in the game to be hired as coaches?!
    It's a story mate so I've made it up to add to the story. You can't hire them as coaches
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    Henderson Bemoans Lack of Friendlies as Injuries Forces Withdrawals

    Following on from the announcement of the first England squads under Mark Henderson's management, the England manager confessed that he had been disappointed not to work with the players during friendlies before taking on Slovenia in the World Cup Qualifiers.

    "It does seem odd that only a couple of months into my appointment, I have my first competitive game without even playing any friendlies. Given that I want to shake things up in the national set-up, it's difficult to get my point across without some time together first and some friendlies to embed the players."

    Meanwhile, Henderson suffered his first withdrawal as the impressive Eric Dier was laid low with a torn groin muscle in Tottenham's recent 1:0 defeat to Everton with Ross Barkley scoring the only goal. Barkley, also included in the England squad, scored after only one minute with Dier getting injured in the second half. It's likely that Dier would have added to his 12 caps to date after an impressive start to the season in which he'd scored along with Dele Alli and Harry Kane in a 4:0 win over Maribor in a Champions League qualifier.



    There had been speculation that Henderson would promote Calum Chambers from the Under 21 squad to replace Dier but instead, he has turned to Manchester United's Phil Jones. The 24 year old, with 23 caps to his name, put in an excellent performance as Man Utd defeated Southampton 3:0 with fellow defender Chris Smalling on the scoresheet.

    Ironically, Chris Smalling was then injured himself in Man Utd's next fixture, another 3:0 win, this time over Aston Villa. Smalling's injury was revealed to be a groin strain and Carl Jenkinson was the man brought into the squad. The former Arsenal right-back was signed for 2.5M by Everton this Summer and he has started all 8 of Everton's games to date thanks to their involvement in the Inter-Toto Cup, scoring once.



    Fortunately for Bryan Robson, there have been no injury concerns for the Under 21's with their own fixture against Slovenia just days away.

    Mark Henderson was speaking at the FA's headquarters a week after the England squad had been announced. He answered a series of questions raised from the announcement:

    Q: 26 players is a big squad for a single match - will you be looking to trim it further in the coming days?
    We are allowed to name 26 players in the squad so I see no reason why we can't bring in as many bodies as we can. Whoever is called up will be involved with us for all of the games.

    Q: Are there any injury or fitness worries in the camp?
    Well, obviously we've just had a double blow in losing Eric Dier and Chris Smalling but there are no other injury concerns as far as I'm aware. The game is only a week away now so hopefully we'll get everybody at the training camp and injury-free.

    I see Will Hughes and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are presumably now getting regular Premier League football (or were Aston Villa relegated?
    Bryan and I have been watching both Will and Ruben with interest. Will has obviously had a difficult time last year with being out for a year with damaged cruciate ligaments. Paul Clement did very well to get promoted along with Birmingham and Brighton but Will obviously felt that the time had come to test himself elsewhere and West Ham snapped him up for 4.1M. We're very pleased with his impact and had no hesitation in calling him into the under 21's. Ruben clearly felt the time had come to leave Chelsea as well even though he took part in 29 games for them last season. Aston Villa got themselves a bargain for only 1.7M and he's looked good so far in his only appearance for them. No, Villa stayed up via 16th place last year. It was Norwich, Newcastle and Bournemouth who found themselves relegated in the end.

    Q: Has Wayne Rooney's exposure to a foreign league brought something new to the squad?
    I think it most certainly has. Wayne has had a difficult time lately, only managing 8 goals for Man Utd last year before moving to Germany for 15M. There, he's already scored twice in four games and that'll give him plenty of confidence in coming back to England. It's nice to see players testing themselves abroad, it's something that is very rare in our game.

    Q: Will the U21s play in the same way as the senior squad, or will they utilise the formation and tactics that best suit the personnel available?
    Bryan and I are working very closely to work with the same systems. We believe that the players should be taught to play in a particular style early on in their national careers and that's what we are looking to do. You'll see that when the Under 21's play and the senior side will follow suit. The squads that we name will always be picked to suit our way of playing football.

    Q: Is it true that Joe Hart told you he couldn't play because he was washing his hair that night?
    Hahaha! No, I'm afraid that's just conjecture. I had a good talk with Joe and while he is obviously disappointed not to be included, I explained that he's simply not played well enough when you take into the accounts the performances of the three lads we've called up. I think he'd be the first to admit that he's not at the top of his game at the moment after conceding 3 in 3 games in the league and he knows full well that he'll be considered if he turns things around.

    Q: Is this jobs for the boys .... Jack Butland and Ryan Shawcross .... what made you pick 2 players from the team you support?
    Who I supposed when I grew up is entirely irrelevant. Stoke have had a good start to the season and are unbeaten in their opening three games. Jack and Ryan have both hit the ground running and they, along with the other 24 players, have been included as a result.

    Q: Who the **** are Lumley, Etheridge, Tshibola and Ahean-Grant ? Would they have been selected if they played for Port Vale?
    Haha, if Port Vale had promising young lads then they'd be included as well. The four you have named all have a chance to make an impression despite featuring in the lower leagues. You see, we have opted not to include the type of players who barely feature for their team. There have been a few of those included in the past and that doesn't sit right with me. These boys are all regulars for their first team and it can only do their career the world of good.

    Q: You have picked 6 players who are essentially forwards. Does that mean we can expect a more attacking brand of football that followers of Henderson might be used to?
    Well, what we've done is included Daniel Sturridge, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy as our strikers. Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney are likely to play in advanced midfield roles if selected. I've always felt that whatever team I put out will be entertaining and attack-minded so there'll be no problems on that score.

    Q: There will be demand from supporters for Emile Heskey to be recalled. How long will you be able to resist those calls?
    Who says I am looking to resist them? I've mentioned before that if Emile plays well enough and the others that we'd ordinarily look at aren't doing well or are unavailable, then he has every right to be assessed for a recall to the team. In fact, he's not doing too badly for Bolton either, scoring one in three although they were relegated last year.

    Q: When are you going to resign?
    What an odd question! Who says I have any intention to resign? I've only just got going!

    Q: What does Bryan Robson know about the youth level?
    What doesn't he know? Bryan has an extensive knowledge of the game and has been one of the highly respected coaches within the game for years. Not only that, he was an outstanding midfielder and the young England players of today will benefit from that.

    Q: Maybe would have thought one of the 'Golden Generation' better suited for that?
    That's the idea. Bryan and Ray are veterans in the coaching world nowadays and this is probably their last chance to pass on the knowledge and wisdom of all they have achieved over the years. The four working underneath them are only recently retired and will be learning all they can from Bryan and Ray with a view to eventually taking over. That's the point of the overhaul, Mr. Redknapp69. To put in a long-term project for the good of the national team.

    Q: Is Wilkins a good appointment considering he was in court this week (well - he didn't turn up) for 3 times over limit for drink driving.
    I cannot comment on events that happened in the past before my appointment. All I can say is that Ray has been an excellent person to work with and I hope it continues.

    Q: What's Harts rating like compared to those picked?
    The official figures stated 6.75 for Joe. Fraser Forster, Jack Butland and Ben Foster have started off much better than that.

    Q: Who is your captain?
    I'd say in all likelihood that it'll be Wayne to carry on in the role although I have yet to fully decide or speak to anyone on the matter.

    Q: Any WAG gossip in this story?
    I'd like to keep the attention to events ON the pitch rather than OFF the pitch. What the ladies of the players do with their time is of no concern to me.

    Q: Is Jordan Henderson related to you?
    I think that is rather unfair on Jordan. Name has nothing to do with it and Jordan has been involved in both of Liverpool's fixtures so far, captaining them in the process. He's done well and well enough to be involved along with Fabian Delph.

    Right, let's call it a day there, please people. I have a game to go and see! Thank you and see you all in London next week!

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    Love your writing style - really feels like you are the Manager

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    Didn't you hear, Bruce and Allardyce were turned down for me
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    Love the press conference style! (And not just because my questions were first )

    Do you have a football philosophy? If so, what is it?

    With the discussion of strikers vs advanced midfielders, and the statement that the U21s will play the same way as the senior side, it sounds like you've settled on the system you want to play - is this the case, or will you be flexible depending on the match situation, the players available, etc? Your predecessor Roy Hodgson came under fire both for not knowing his best side, and also for being tactically inflexible - it seems like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't...

    Thanks for clearing up the promotion/relegation and transfer news How did English clubs do in Europe last season? Who won the Premier League? What happened in Euro 2016? (I imagine Hendo had a cushy gig as a BBC pundit... )

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    Eb Fatz reporting for Champman Online:

    "Interesting to see Ryan Shawcross in the squad. How much did he pay you for the call up?"

    "The U21 squad seems to be missing Adam Armstrong. What will he have to do to bring himself to Robson's attentions?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfatz View Post
    Eb Fatz reporting for Champman Online:

    "Interesting to see Ryan Shawcross in the squad. How much did he pay you for the call up?"

    "The U21 squad seems to be missing Adam Armstrong. What will he have to do to bring himself to Robson's attentions?"
    I think you answered your first question with your second. Clearly a transfer to Stoke would help Adam's chances
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    Robson Announces Under 21 Starting XI

    When spotted arriving at the Emirates Stadium, Mark Henderson was crowded by a team of journalists and subjected to follow up questions from his previous press conference.

    Q: Do you have a football philosophy? If so, what is it?
    It's pretty simple really. Football doesn't need to be overcomplicated. You play the players where they are strongest and you ask them to do the basics. Do that first and foremost then you can do anything. For both England teams, we're looking to keep it tight at the back yet be adventurous on the ball. We have talented players on the wings and strikers with that instinct in front of goal. Last of all, we want to be entertaining and give the supporters the feeling that their team can win games, regardless of the situation.

    Q: With the discussion of strikers vs advanced midfielders, and the statement that the U21s will play the same way as the senior side, it sounds like you've settled on the system you want to play - is this the case, or will you be flexible depending on the match situation, the players available, etc? Your predecessor Roy Hodgson came under fire both for not knowing his best side, and also for being tactically inflexible - it seems like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't...
    My, that's a long question! We have certainly impressed on both sets of players that we have a style of play that I want them to adhere to. What Roy did with his team is in the past. I've said before that I will play in a particular style and we'll stick to that, selecting squads for the game with that in mind.

    How did English clubs do in Europe last season? Who won the Premier League? What happened in Euro 2016?
    Not too well which is a shame really as it should be giving players the platform to perform on the European scene. Chelsea didn't make it out of the group stages and were beaten by Leverkusen in the UEFA Cup Semi Final. Arsenal didn't make it out of Phase 2, Man City went further but lost to Juventus in the Semi Finals. Man Utd didn't make it past the Champions League Qualifiers and were knocked out of the UEFA Cup in the 3rd Round along with Tottenham. Likewise in the UEFA Cup, Liverpool and Aston Villa only got as far as the 2nd Round. Southampton also couldn't even get past the first hurdle in the Inter-Toto Cup. It's been a disappointing twelve months overall. Man City won the Premiership and Italy won the Euros.

    Q: Interesting to see Ryan Shawcross in the squad. How much did he pay you for the call up?
    That's a fair unfair question on Ryan Shawcross. You'll find that he has been one of the standout performers in the Premiership so far and is well worth his place in the squad. After all, previous managers just never gave players like Shawcross a chance. I'm here to show that you don't need to play for a big team to play for England.

    Q: The U21 squad seems to be missing Adam Armstrong. What will he have to do to bring himself to Robson's attentions?
    Finally, a question that is relevant to why I am here tonight! The answer is very simple, he needs to play games. He's returned to Newcastle this season from his loan spell at Coventry last year but hasn't been involved at all in any of their four games, plus not even taking part in the League Cup against Accrington. If he gets some game time and impresses, I'm sure he'll come into our thinking. Right, I've got to go guys. You need to be asking me these questions at the press conferences themselves! I have a game to watch.

    With Henderson leaving to keenly watch on from the stands at the Emirates, Under 21's manager Bryan Robson made some surprising choices for his first match against Slovenia Under 21's.

    Despite being one of the most well known players in the squad, Dele Alli was forced to settle for a place on the bench besides Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Joe Gomez amongst others.

    Calum Chambers, Devante Cole, Callum Gribbin, Bryn Morris, Joe Lumley and Jordon Ibe were the six players forced to watch from the stands after the squad was confirmed.

    Lining up in a 4-5-1, the clearest indication yet that Mark Henderson could be looking to play a favourite of his at the senior level, Norwich's James Maddison was given the nod to start ahead of Alli after scoring once in three games to put Norwich 2nd in the Championship.

    Raheem Sterling and Will Hughes were chosen to play on either side of Maddison with West Ham's Hughes also given the captain's armband. The 4.5M signing at the Boleyn looks to have settled in well with two starts in the Premiership while Sterling has started all four games for Man City, scoring and assisting one goal to date.

    Playing the role of lone striker is Charlton man Karlan Aheane-Grant who has one goal in three starts for the Addicks, 7th in the Championship.

    The remainder of the side is made up for Aaron Tshibola, Cameron Brannigan, Darnell Furlong, Greg Leigh, Jerome Willims, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Luke Simpson.

    For Hughes, Sterling, Williams, Tshibola, Simpson and Leigh, all 21 years of age - This was a chance to impress in the presence of Henderson watching on.

    England Under 21's vs. Slovenia Under 21's
    1 - Luke Simpson
    2 - Darnell Furlong
    3 - Greg Leigh
    4 - Jerome Williams
    5 - Cameron Carter-Vickers
    6 - Cameron Brannigan
    7 - Raheem Sterling
    8 - Aaron Tshibola
    9 - Karlan Aheane-Grant
    10 - James Maddison
    11 - Will Hughes

    There were some scratching their heads at the omission of Dele Alli but he was soon forgotten as the game became the Raheem Sterling show. Sterling had been one of those heavily criticised after a poor tournament at Euro 2016 and failing to secure a regular spot at Man City. However, he dictated the game from the very start of the match as he put the team ahead after 11 minutes with a well taken driven effort.



    Five minutes later, shortly after Brannigan had found himself booked early on for an over-enthusiastic tackle, it was 2:0. This time, it was Will Hughes who threatened after good work on the left saw him break through on goal from a pass by MK Don's Greg Leigh. He attempted to lob the goalkeeper but Gregor Zabret of Swansea pushed it away with his feet into the path of James Maddison who had no trouble in putting it beyond the goalkeeper's flailing arm.

    By the 20th minute, it was 3:0 with Sterling dancing his way through two players before rocketing the ball beyond Zabret.

    The game started to peter out a little bit as England enjoyed plenty of possession with Slovenia rarely venturing in the opposition half. Karlan Aheane-Grant twice came close to making it 3:0 but failed to beat Zabret both times and hit the crossbar with a third attempt in the second half.

    Soon afterwards, England made it 4 as James Maddison saw the ball nicked away from him only for it to fall for Brannigan. The recently purchased Cardiff midfielder showed no hesitation as the ball flew in.



    A change was made on the 67th minute as Ademola Lookman was introduced for Will Hughes with Greg Leigh taking over as the captain. The match was won and the players could go home happy.




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  32. #44
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    Beautiful start and looks like the extra man in midfield paid dividends

    But it was Slovenia . . . .

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  34. #45
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    The experiment of selecting Aheane_Grant and Lookman clearly didn't work. Do you accept full responsibility and will you accept that the only course of action is to resign before you are sacked ?

    After beating Slovenia U21s, the English press are now touting your team as odds on favourites to win the 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 World Cups. What will you be doing to dampen the expectations, and if you don't succeed, does that mean you will resign ?

    It has been noticed that all of the players you selected are English, not one player was from the Celtic nations, let alone a Johnny Foreigner. Do you fear getting sacked for a clear case of institutional racism within the FA ?
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

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  36. #46
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    Good to see a strong performance from the U21s at the start of your reign, hope the senior side can do the same!

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    A solid result. Can the likes of Chambers and Ibe play their way into U21 contention or should you be urging them to seek loan moves for regular football?

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    ENGLAND v SLOVENIA - PRE-MATCH CONFERENCE LIVE

    Mark Henderson was in a relaxed mood as he welcomed questions hours before his debut as England manager at Wembley. The mood had been calmed somewhat by the performance of the Under 21's last night in which the side, managed by Bryan Robson, cruised to an easy 4:0 victory without even featuring the likes of Dele Alli and Calum Chambers. Robson had answered questions in the aftermath of the performance but there were those who wanted to question the senior manager himself.

    Q: The experiment of selecting Aheane_Grant and Lookman clearly didn't work. Do you accept full responsibility and will you accept that the only course of action is to resign before you are sacked?
    Well, that's a ridiculous statement to make. First of all, I should resign before even playing a game? You do realise it was the Under 21's that played last night, not the senior team, right? Bryan and I are absolutely delighted with how the game planned out. Karlan Aheane-Grant was clearly fairly nervous on his debut for the Under 21's and you can't say that there wasn't any effort from the young lad. 6 chances, 2 on target but unfortunately, no goals. I know that Bryan has made it clear that Karlan should't beat himself up about it. It's always a sign of a good striker if they get into positions to score which is the most crucial thing. He did exactly that and we believe he has the ability to improve and become a better finisher at the same time. I'll take your comment about Ademola Lookman with a pinch of salt as well. He's only 18 years of age and has already shown signs of a bright future. 33 minutes from the bench on his debut isn't enough time at all to judge him, especially at that age.



    Q: After beating Slovenia U21s, the English press are now touting your team as odds on favourites to win the 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 World Cups. What will you be doing to dampen the expectations, and if you don't succeed, does that mean you will resign?
    *chuckles* Now let's not get carried away. The media is the media, they go over the top when a game is won and they kick people when they're down. It's a horrible situation but it seems to be the way they work in this country. I'm not going on record to say that we'll win the next five, you say, tournaments, that's for sure. Let's take each one at a time and think about the qualifiers first. It'd be disrespectful to our opponents to talk about playing at the tournament when we haven't even qualified yet. After all, this is a long-term project for the national team to recover from what has been an extremely disappointing time in the past 10-20 years or so. These things don't happen overnight.

    Q: It has been noticed that all of the players you selected are English, not one player was from the Celtic nations, let alone a Johnny Foreigner. Do you fear getting sacked for a clear case of institutional racism within the FA?
    The Celtic nations? Well, that's a new one, I must admit. Let's just say that if a player from those parts who are eligible to feature for England will be considered if and when they play well enough. At the moment, I can't think of any players performing in the professional league who are not long eligible to feature for this country but also playing well enough to take part, can you?



    Q: Can the likes of Chambers and Ibe play their way into U21 contention or should you be urging them to seek loan moves for regular football?
    They have already got themselves into the Under 21's squad on the back of their performances so far so it's not a case of lacking first team football. Calum Chambers has taken part in 3 of 4 games for Arsenal, starting twice and the same applies for Jordon Ibe who has started twice in the three Liverpool games so far. The only reason they weren't selected to start is because their colleagues are simply performing better in their respective positions. There's no reason why they can't improve on that before we play Belarus and Austria next month though.

    "OK chaps, I'm going to cut the conference there. I have a team talk to prepare for! Wish me luck!" waved Henderson as he left the press room.

    There is now only hours until the game against Slovenia gets underway and there are strong rumours that Wayne Rooney will continue to captain the national team and there will be a debut for Michael Mancienne.

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  42. #49
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    Good luck Mark! Think I'd have left Wilkins to deal with his alcoholism and the 3 drink drive charges he's racked up in the last year though

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    when you do interviews....get some song titles in....like seaman and adams 96!

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