Wes Brown: 'There is no media pressure for England this time'

Former England defender Brown also feels people are being too harsh on Lionel Messi for missing one penalty.

England played nice and attacking football against Tunisia, says Wes Brown.   -  Getty Images

Wes Brown cut his teeth on professional football in Sir Alex Ferguson’s clinic. The grand old man of Old Trafford even claimed that he is one of the talented defenders at Manchester United.

The only specialist right-back England carried to Japan and Korea in the FIFA World Cup in 2002 is now a panelist with Sony Pictures, the official broadcaster of the ongoing World Cup in Russia.

A day after England’s opener against Tunisia, Sportstar took his insights on the Three Lions’ youth brigade, Harry Kane and Lionel Messi.

Excerpts…

The new England team look quite functional. What are your thoughts on their performance in the opening game?

I think they played really well. It was not a big score but they played nice and attacking football in the whole game.They lost a chance in the first half, where they need to start scoring. But overall, it was a great performance.

Don’t you feel Marcus Rashford deserves a bit more game time for England to do better in the tournament?

Harry Kane is the main man in the tournament but the formation they had against Tunisia, with Raheem Sterling just behind floating around, obviously Rashford is a fantastic player and he has got the skills to start behind Kane.

How do you assess Sterling’s position in the presence of Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli?

Some people are saying that he didn’t play too well against Tunisia but I still see his position just behind Kane. It is because of the attacking football England played, especially in the second half. They created a lot of chances with good ball possession. It is a team game and in general, I would say they all played well.

How different is this England side compared to 2014 and 2010?

It is a lot different. There is unity and a lot of them play together in different teams, and for England. They know the trend. There is a lot less pressure on England this year. There is no media pressure that we are going to win it. It reflected in the way they played.

Wes Brown represented Manchester United from 1996 to 2011.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

The tournament started with Germany losing, Brazil and Argentina ending in draws. Where do you think these teams went wrong?

There are, of course, expectations from them. World Cup offers opportunities for every team. Switzerland did well man-marking Neymar. They made it difficult for him. Every team will be playing together to stop the best teams from winning the game.

Messi has been facing a lot of criticism for missing one penalty, don’t you think it is too harsh on a legend like him? What do you think should be Argentina’s strategy against Croatia?

Yes, very harsh. Anyone can miss penalties. The best players in the world have missed penalties. Here, he couldn’t win the game and people expected him to score and he missed. Messi should put his head high and do the best he can in the next game.

You’ve spent some time in India playing the Indian Super League and now, as an expert in the television studios. How far do you think is India from playing at the highest level?

ISL is not too many years old, though I-League has been going on for some years. I think it will take time. You learn the basics and that has been introduced. It needs to be enough till it becomes normal. Then, there will be pressure and expectations.

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