FIFA World Cup 2018: Young England squad needs to be shielded from negative pressure, says Patrick Viera

England’s young squad must be protected from persistent media and fan pressure if they are to achieve long-term success, former Arsenal and France midfielder Patrick Vieira has said ahead of this month’s World Cup finals.

British media has been criticised in the past for their coverage of England players.

“(Harry) Kane, (Raheem) Sterling, Dele Alli, (Eric) Dier, all young and talented so you have the pieces to work well. You have a coach who cares greatly,” Vieira told The Times.

File image of Patrick Viera. AFP

File image of Patrick Viera. AFP

“Now as a first step it is about showing that they can thrive in the shirt, protecting them a little. Maybe everyone has a part to play in that — not just the coaches but the fans, the media. They are so exposed.

“So much focus in England about what the player’s wife does. I think they need to be protected from negative pressure and then they can start to show what they have.”

The 41-year-old, who is currently the head coach of New York City FC, also praised Gareth Southgate, calling the England manager intelligent and humble.

Vieira, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, also outlined the importance of unity within the squad if they are to succeed in major international tournaments.

“For any international squad, it is about thinking about the team more than they think about themselves,” Vieira added.

“If you want to go far in any tournament, you will have difficult periods... That is when you find the strength of the group, the respect for each other which you need.”

England open their World Cup campaign against Tunisia on 18 June with Panama and Belgium being the other teams in their group.

Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 16:45 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See