DANNY MURPHY has bemoaned World Cup-winning Lion cubs like Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden for promoting themselves rather than the England badge in their moment of glory – by turning their shirts round.
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Murphy believes the whizzkids’ displays in India showed what could be best about the future of English football – before their gesture in triumph showed what is worst about society.
Player of the tournament Foden and Golden Boot winner Brewster were ecstatic after England completed a superb tournament with a 5-2 comeback win over Spain in Saturday’s final, seen by 68,684 in Kolkata.
But the Liverpool Echo report TV and radio pundit Murphy as saying: “They’ve all turned their shirts around because they want their names across their chests, so everybody across the world can see who they are.
“They’re all saying, ‘I’m a good young player coming through, look at me’, but that in itself is what is wrong with society.”
“In effect, they’re thinking about fame as well as being a footballer and I think it creates a big debate here.”
Murphy, though, also emphasised how impressed he was with the Lion cubs.
He added: “I thought the way they played was amazing and the way they’ve been coached has been fantastic and Steve Cooper deserves great credit.
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“Some of those players could go on to be superstars.
“We’re talking some amazing talent in that group and the freedom they played with, everybody should be happy to see that in an England shirt, and I am too, I was proud of them.
“But the England badge not being in that picture says a lot.
“The fact they want their names to be on the front of their shirts and think about getting their name out there so people know who they are – they are not wrong, but it’s what is wrong at the moment.”
Meanwhile, England skipper Joel Latibeaudiere is keen for the squad to be allowed to grow as potential Premier League stars – despite the current climate where few top-flight clubs bring on youngsters.
He said: “It’s really important that this is just the start of things. Nobody wants to be forgotten after doing this.
“If there is an opportunity to go abroad and get some first team football and learn, then absolutely it’s worth it.”
And Manchester City midfielder Foden, who impressed Etihad chief Pep Guardiola in pre-season, said: “It’s going to be hard to break through, don’t get me wrong.
“Everyone will make it eventually, but maybe not at the club that they want to.”
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