Neville gives England WAGS the red card

England coach Gary Neville has vowed that there will never be any repeat of the WAGs debacle at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.


In the spa resort of Baden Baden six years ago, England's presence was completely overshadowed by that of their glamorous wives and girlfriends, who became a magnet for photographers and a massive distraction.

Poland's second city Krakow may not hold the same appeal during Euro 2012, but whether the lure of Brazil in 2014 raises the WAGs issue once more is open to debate. However, Neville has already insisted: "That won't happen again."

Neville, who was part of that England squad in Germany which bowed out to Portugal in a quarter-final penalty shoot-out, went on: "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's response to Baden Baden was to shut their players away in the relative isolation of Rustenburg in South Africa. But that did not work either, with many players complaining of boredom.

So, when they leave England on June 6, they will do so for the centre of a city with approximately 750,000 inhabitants.

Yet, according to Neville, this is the only way to replicate the normal day-to-day experiences of the England squad, and get the best out of them. He said: "Players would not pen themselves into a countryside location between a Saturday and Tuesday game for their clubs. That is the big message, to have players doing what they would normally do."

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