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Foreign legion ups England's game

China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-13 09:47

Pochettino effect

Guardiola is not the only coach who has helped England's cause.

Stones, Walker and Sterling were already internationals before being taken to the next level by the Spanish former Barca and Bayern Munich boss.

By contrast, Tottenham's Pochettino has developed many of Southgate's stars such as Harry Kane and Dele Alli from an earlier stage, transforming them from relative unknowns to big-name players.

Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier complete England's five-strong Spurs contingent in Russia and have been drilled in many of the same principles of possession soccer and pressing that Guardiola preaches.

"I learned a lot in that short time," Kane said of his early days under Argentine Pochettino.

"He was a defender himself so he knows what the striker should be doing to gain an edge."

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his England debut in last week's 2-0 friendly win over Costa Rica after a breakthrough season under Klopp that ended in a Champions League final defeat tot Real Madrid, playing alongside Liverpool captain and England teammate Jordan Henderson.

At Manchester United, Mourinho has turned former winger Ashley Young into one of the best leftbacks in the Premier League to beat Southampton's Ryan Bertrand, 28, who started five times in qualifying, to a World Cup berth.

And United youth academy graduate Jesse Lingard challenges the assertion that Mourinho does not give youth a chance by scoring 13 goals in his best-ever season for United to make a strong case to start England's Group G opener against Tunisia on Monday.

Agence France-Presse

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