EXCLUSIVE: ‘Sterling and Walker ALWAYS argue about who is quickest’: Gareth Southgate gossips on his England squad, the best goal his team have scored and which ex-captain was his childhood hero
Gareth Southgate has dished the dirt on his England squad just days before the start of Euro 2020 as the Three Lions boss took questions from an audience of young fans at St George’s Park.
The youngsters from Heath Fields primary school got the chance to ask Southgate a series of questions inside the conference room at the home of English football, and the 50-year-old gave them a sneak peak behind the curtain into the group gunning for glory this month.
One young fan quizzed Southgate on which player was the fastest in his squad, but the former centre-back revealed the topic is always up for debate when it comes to who is the speediest.
Gareth Southgate has dished the dirt on his England stars to a group of kids at St George’s Park
Southgate was fielded questions by an audience of kids from Heath Fields primary school
‘It would probably be Kyle Walker and Raheem [Sterling],’ Southgate told the kids as part of Pokemon’s 25th anniversary celebrations, who are partnered with England football. ‘They argue all the time about who’s the quickest.’
While he was happy to laugh about Walker and Sterling’s bickering, Southgate also revealed how when the time for laughing and joking is done, his team-mates are there for one another with the team chemistry at an all-time high going into the Euros.
When asked who was the most supportive and caring player in the team, Southgate revealed: ‘So our captain Harry [Kane] would be one of those people. Jordan Henderson is very good at that.
Southgate says Kyle Walker (left) and Raheem Sterling ‘always argue’ over who is the quickest
‘When you’re young, you maybe think that older people don’t get nervous, but actually they do. So would take time to make people feel comfortable.’
While it was a landmark date for the Japanese company, it is also 25 years since Southgate made his full England debut where he helped Terry Venables’ men get a 1-0 win over Bulgaria at Wembley back in 1996.
But while Southgate’s debut came a quarter of a century ago, he had to cast his mind further back when he was asked who his childhood hero was.
‘My favourite player when I was growing up was Bryan Robson’, Southgate revealed. ‘And he was the captain of Manchester United but you’ve probably not heard of him, have you? You’re all too young to remember!’
The England boss also revealed how Man United legend Bryan Robson was his childhood hero
Fast forward to recent times and Southgate was pushed for what his favourite England goal was as manager of the national side.
While the Three Lions have scored some spectacular strikes under his stewardship, it was a set-piece at the 2018 World Cup that left Southgate pleased as punch.
The goal in question was England’s third, and John Stones’ second, against Panama in the 6-1 thrashing at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, which saw five players link up to completely outfox the opposition in the group stages.
Southgate revealed his favourite England goal was John Stones’ second against Panama
Southgate passionately celebrates his team’s well-worked set-piece at the 2018 World Cup
‘When we played Panama in the World Cup (in 2018), there was a free-kick that the players had talked about trying to do, and it worked perfectly and we scored from it,’ Southgate said when asked about his favourite goal.
‘It was lovely to see how excited they were that they tried this free-kick and it worked.’
To find out more how Pokémon and England Football are working together to help kids master the ball, visit mastertheball.com.