Former England star Shaun Wright-Phillips has sent a warning to the Three Lions over Roberto Mancini’s influence ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
Wright-Phillips played under Mancini during their time together at Manchester City, so he is well-positioned to provide insight into what the Italian players will have nailed into them in the dressing room ahead of tonight’s game.
SWP, who also played in the Premier League with Chelsea and QPR, is quoted by The Sun reflecting on the team talks given to him and his Man City teammates ahead of the FA Cup final at Wembley ten years ago.
“You could feel the aura and emotion coming off him.”
“And if you have that from your manager then the players feed off that. Some of them will be nervous, like we were, as this is one of the biggest games in every one of their careers.”
“Mancini was ramped up and excited, but he got the boys right up for it. He believed in us, like he clearly believes in this Italy team.”
“He’ll be trying to stay calm although he’ll be on edge too. How could he not be? It’s the final of the Euros.”
“So there’ll be emotion but after everything he’s done in the game, he’ll try to stay calm.”
“He will have nothing but total belief in his players after what they’ve done in this tournament. And I’m sure he’ll be getting that message across.”
Mancini has another decade of managerial experience in him since that team talk recalled by Wright-Phillips, and will also be doing todays talks in his native language, which you imagine will be all the more inspiring.
We do not intend to strike fear into England fans who will not need to be any more stressed than they already are – but this is a man who knows what he’s doing, and it’ll rub off onto his players tonight.
Thankfully for England, they have Gareth Southgate doing the talking in the dressing room, and though he may not have the same suave as Mancini, he’s every bit as good managerially.
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