Sports

 

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: Wales defend England celebrations

Wales defender Chris Gunter has defended the squad after a video showed players enthusiastically celebrating Iceland’s Euro 2016 win over England.

England’s second-round exit means Wales, who face Belgium in the quarter-finals on Friday, are the last remaining home nation.

The 26-year-old Reading right-back says the Wales players have no regrets about their conduct in the video.

“It certainly wasn’t a video to show any lack of respect,” he said.

“I think it’s fantastic for the tournament that another smaller nation have progressed through; another team that were probably written off before a ball was kicked.

“But it certainly wasn’t meant [as] a lack of respect. There’s a lot of people in the squad who know players from the England side.

“I think the main feeling after the final whistle – and probably in a selfish way from the squad – was generally a real pride that we’re the last team from the home nations to be in the tournament.”

There was a Welsh element to Iceland’s victory over England, as the Nordic side were captained by Cardiff City midfielder Aron Gunnarsson and their attacking play built around the creativity of Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson.

His Swans team-mate Neil Taylor says Welsh celebrations in the video were inspired by their joy for their fellow European Championship debutants.

“As a squad we follow the underdogs in this tournament, from Albania to Hungary, as a breath of fresh air,” said the Wales left-back.

“Iceland were written off as well. I know Gylfi, he has explained to me about Iceland, what they are all about. We saw that when they qualified and in this tournament they have been unbelievable.

“That was half of the celebrations, because of how well Iceland have done [but] I understand how it has come across. As a group of players we’ve supported Iceland all along.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Neil Taylor discusses missing a concert and Chris Gunter potentially missing his brother’s wedding because of Wales’ Euro 2016 run.

Missing Beyonce

Gunter has previously explained Wales’ progress to the last eight at Euro 2016 means he will miss his brother Marc’s wedding in Mexico.

Should Wales reach the semi-finals, his parents would not be there for the wedding either.

For fellow full-back Taylor, Wales’ success in France means a different kind of sacrifice.

“We always expected to go as far as we can and, it’s not as bad as Gunts, but I had Beyonce tickets this week and Lionel Richie was in Swansea a few weeks ago,” he added.

“I got them for my wife for her birthday and I didn’t even see the date [of the concert] at the time. I thought I had her birthday covered!

“Obviously we’re delighted to be here. We don’t care. We’re in the quarter-finals. Wales is at a little bit of a standstill waiting for the game to come around.”

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

 
Hoddle (left) managed England at the 1998 World Cup, while Southgate (right) is the Under-21 boss

Gareth Southgate being favourite to succeed Roy Hodgson as England manager is “scary”, says Harry Redknapp.

Hodgson resigned on Monday after England were knocked out of Euro 2016 in the last 16 by minnows Iceland.

But Redknapp said Southgate was only seen as a favourite for the job because he had won a “second-rate tournament” with England’s Under-21s in Toulon.

“Why should he get it in front of Steve Bruce and Sam Allardyce, who are proven managers?” asked the former QPR boss.

When it was suggested that Southgate knew the way the Football Association worked as well as the English “system”, Redknapp responded: “Knows what system? The losing system? He knows the losing formula?

“I like Gareth Southgate, he’s a great lad, but what’s he done?”

Media playback is not supported on this device

Harry Redknapp talks about why he has no faith in the FA

Redknapp, speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, said former England boss Glenn Hoddle, 58, was a more suitable candidate.

“I think he had an idea of how he wanted to play,” said Redknapp. “He would have come up with a system that we all know how we’re going to play.”

However, he said he did not “have a lot of faith” in the Football Association making the right choice.

“Look at what they’ve done in the past,” he said. “We’ve had Sven-Goran Eriksson. It’s scary. They are going to make a right decision one day, but I probably won’t be alive to see it.”

Redknapp also suggested former Tottenham and Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood as a possible option.

“He’s got passion, enthusiasm, I’ll come and work with him all day,” said the 69-year-old. “He’s young, enthusiastic, knows the game.”

But he played down suggestions he might finally get the England job after missing out to Hodgson in 2012.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: England 1-2 Iceland

“It was a long time ago I was one of the favourites,” said the former QPR, Tottenham, Portsmouth and West Ham boss.

“I don’t fit. I would love to manage England, but I’m a realistic person and I realise I’ve got absolutely no chance.”

BBC pundit Alan Shearer also thinks Hoddle should be given a second chance at taking control of England, perhaps alongside Southgate.

Hoddle managed England at the 1998 World Cup but was sacked following comments he made about disabled people.

“Hoddle is a great coach who’s still got a lot to offer,” said Shearer.

Under Hoddle, England, with Shearer leading the attack, reached the last 16 at the 1998 World Cup before losing to Argentina on penalties.

Hoddle, who replaced Terry Venables after the 1996 European Championships, was then sacked in 1999 following an interview he gave to The Times.

In it, the former Tottenham, Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea midfielder suggested disabled people were being made to pay for the sins of past lives.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Euro 2016: England 1-2 Iceland – Roy Hodgson resigns after defeat

Hoddle has not managed since leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2006, while Southgate’s only other managerial job ended with the sack following Middlesbrough’s relegation from the Premier League in 2009.

Shearer said Southgate, 45, had done a “very good job” with the Under-21s but would benefit from being able to call upon Hoddle’s “experience”.

“It’s about having a leader in there,” said Shearer. “Southgate is certainly one of those guys. As is Hoddle. Glenn was brilliant for England.”

The Match of the Day pundit also expressed an interest in the vacancy himself, revealing he had wanted to take over in 2012.

“I would speak to the FA now, definitely,” he said. “I’d offer my experience, tournament experience. Even if Southgate gets it.”

Shearer’s former England striker partner, Teddy Sheringham, said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger would be his choice.

“People will disagree with me backing him for the England job, but you need a bit of everything in a football team,” said Sheringham.