England need to be more street-wise says former Spurs boss

Tim Sherwood Press Conference 12/02/2014

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood has claimed England need to change their mentality following their disappointing World Cup exit.

Tim Sherwood believes that being too honest is something that affected the Three Lions chances in Brazil following England's first group stage exit since 1958.

The recently axed Tottenham Hotspur manager was referring to the incident involving Daniel Sturridge and Diego Godin during the first-half of the Uruguay match in his column for the Independent.

"Daniel Sturridge should have made more of the elbow from Diego Godin in the first half. Godin is Uruguay’s captain, their first-choice centre-back and he was already on a booking. Then he puts an arm into Sturridge’s throat. Sturridge needs to go down and make more of it.

"People say this is not the English way. They say, “But we are honest”. There would be nothing dishonest about going down after getting one in the throat. Godin made contact and he deserved a second yellow card," he said.

Footballers' honesty is a controversial topic in the modern game and many will do whatever it takes to win, an approach that the former Blackburn midfielder believes England must adopt.

"It is all very well getting a pat on the back for being sporting. Or getting the fair play award. But what about winning the World Cup?

"We need to be more street-wise. I am not saying that Roy should coach the players to do it. But it needs to be something they are aware of.

"They see it every week in the Premier League. You need to know when the opposition’s skipper is on a yellow. If he commits a foul again, you have to make sure that the referee knows about it."

Germany's Thomas Muller did exactly that in their opener against Portugal and his dramatic reaction to a challenge with Pepe saw the defender sent off for an angry reaction.

There will be many that disagree and will want England players to continue to be honest, but it is an approach that very few teams take nowadays, and the majority of successful clubs in the modern game know how to influence refereeing decisions.

Players overreact to challenges and teammates surround referees to put pressure on a decision and Sherwood feels that the national side should follow if they are to be successful.


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