Euro 2012

No WAGS chaos, says Neville

2012-05-31 17:53
Gary Neville (File)

London - England assistant coach Gary Neville has ruled out any chance of a repeat of the WAGS sideshow that overshadowed the Three Lions' campaign at the 2006 World Cup.

The wives and girlfriends (WAGS) of England's soccer players became a tabloid obsession six years ago in Germany, with pages of coverage devoted to their antics in the spa town of Baden-Baden, where the squad was based.

However, Neville, a surprise choice to join Roy Hodgson's backroom staff for Euro 2012, said there is little chance of the WAGS circus rolling into England's base camp in the Polish city of Krakow.

"That won't happen again," Neville said. "The FA learned from the experience in 2006. The England team did. The England players did. That wasn't ideal for anybody.

"It was symptomatic of the times. Between 2002 and 2007, everyone got carried away with everything in life.

"It is a different world now and those mistakes won't happen again under any manager or any regime. The platform won't be given.

"We are managing it this time in a completely different way. We are here to play football. We are here to work."

England went from one extreme to another at the 2010 World Cup, shuttered away at an isolated base camp in South Africa that left players complaining of boredom and isolation from the tournament.

The Football Association changed tack at Euro 2012 by choosing to base the team in the city centre of Krakow.

Neville said the location of the team's hotel would help foster a sense of normality amongst England's squad.

"Players would not pen themselves into a countryside location between a Saturday and Tuesday game for their clubs," he said.

"That is the big message, to have players doing what they would normally do.

"You can never replicate the home environment but in terms of being free to go for a coffee or to the shops - we should embrace it, even though it has never been done before."

Read more on:    euro 2012  |  gary neville  |  soccer
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