England players tried to calm Gazza during Euro 96 in the weirdest way

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Football News

With England taking on Scotland – the auld enemy – on Friday night, manager Gareth Southgate is hoping to see some composure from his squad at Wembley.

The former defender is aware that the timing of the game could contribute to a few nerves, but is certain that he won't have a problem in calming his squad down too much.

And he is particularly certain that he won't have to go to the lengths that were reached in trying to keep a lid on Paul Gascoigne's frantic energy during Euro 96.

Gazza's goal during the group stage 2-0 victory at the tournament is a memory that still lingers fondly on the southern side of Hadrian's Wall, and his celebration remains iconic to this day.

But a story in the Daily Mirror highlights that things were quite crazy behind the scenes.

Southgate told reporters that before the game Gazza was so wound up that he and his teammates, as well as then England coach Bryan Robson had to calm him down by letting him fish in the dressing room bathtubs.

“I’m not sure emotional control was Gazza’s style," Southgate said. "The only time Gazza was relaxed was when he went fishing so Bryan Robson made him a fishing rod and he was pretend fishing in the bath at Wembley!

“Only he could remember the celebration he was going to do having scored. How does it even cross you mind? ‘Oh yes, I've got to do the do the dentist’s chair!’”

The celebration came after press got wind of a boozy night out enjoyed by the squad in Hong Kong when manager Terry Venables allowed them to hit the town to blow off some steam in the name of team bonding.

Do what Psycho says

However, being the consummate professional, Southgate insists that he was nowhere to be seen that night because he was tucked up in bed.

“I had got pally with Stuart Pearce and he said: 'In my experience of England if you go out for a drink it’s as if nobody has ever drunk before in their lives!’

“He advised me to swerve it. Sometimes advice like that is good! After we won in Toulon (with the under 21s this summer) we had all the players and staff in the bar and shared a couple of drinks together. We can’t live in a world where it’s about work. They are moments that bond teams. That’s what sport should be about.”

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Premier League
World Cup
Paul Gascoigne

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