Monday, October 15, 2018

Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli

SoccerNews in World Cup 22 Mar 2018

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Dele Alli is adamant England’s humiliation at the hands of Iceland in Euro 2016 has helped the team become stronger.

Having scraped through their group in unconvincing fashion following draws against Russia and Slovakia either side of a 2-1 win over Wales, England met unfancied Iceland in the first knockout phase.

Although Iceland had impressed neutrals by overcoming the odds to progress thanks to a last-gasp 2-1 defeat of Austria in their final group game, England were still expected to triumph comfortably if they played to their capabilities.

But at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, Iceland beat England 2-1 despite falling behind to Wayne Rooney’s early penalty, dumping England out in embarrassing fashion.

Alli reckons that defeat has actually helped England improve, however.

“Yeah, I definitely think we’ve gained from it,” he is quoted as saying by the Telegraph ahead of Friday’s friendly with Netherlands.

“You never know what will happen in a tournament, but as a team we feel stronger, we feel more together and we are learning from it. It’s important that we learn from it together.

“We obviously don’t get to spend that much time as an England squad, but we know the way we want to play and a lot of it is very similar to the way we play with our clubs.

“To be a part of it for your country, growing up you see the big tournaments being played, you see it on the TV, look at all the flags flying out of the windows and seeing how much it means to the country, to be a part of it was massive but the way it ended was a huge disappointment.

“As a team, it would have been quite easy to hide, not to look back on it and get it out of your memory, but it was important that we went through it so it doesn’t happen again. I think as a team and as individuals we’re stronger from going through that.”

Roy Hodgson was the man at the helm during the Euros, but now it is Gareth Southgate in charge and Alli is a firm believer in the former England Under-21 coach.

“Gareth is a great manager and a great person,” Alli said. “He’s really nice and he’s easy to talk to, which I think is important.

“When you are bringing in people from different clubs, it’s important everyone gets along and he is really good at speaking to everyone. He’s a great manager and it’s a pleasure to play for him.”

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