England are far from impressed after a Sky Sports reporter leaked some team news ahead of Sunday’s 3-0 win over Senegal. It was a straightforward night for Gareth Southgate’s side, who will now face France in the last eight of the World Cup. However, though things in the Middle East are going well for the Three Lions, it appears there are some issues behind the scenes.
According to the Daily Mail, team leaks are ‘frowned upon’ by the FA and they’re far from impressed with a Sky Sports reporter.
The reporter in question published news that Bukayo Saka would be starting over Marcus Rashford for the 3-0 win over Senegal, with the Arsenal star proceeding to score.
One England player said the behaviour of the journalist was ‘hardly that of a mate’ as they look to go all the way in Qatar this winter.
Over the course of the tournament there have been other leaks, with England’s starting XI for their opening match against Iran known to the world before a ball had been kicked.
It was a similar story with their 3-0 win over Wales, too, with Rashford one of four players who was brought into the team following a goalless draw with USA beforehand.
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But while England have had to put up with leaks behind the scenes, it hasn’t stopped them from enjoying a terrific tournament in the Middle East so far.
They were excellent against Iran, with Saka scoring twice and further goals from Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish giving them all three points.
While their draw against USA didn’t capture the imaginations of a nation, it was still a point well earned.
England blew Wales away, with Rashford at the double and Phil Foden also on target as they ended their group stage campaign on a high.
And goals from Saka, Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson gave them an emphatic victory over Senegal on Saturday night to set up an intriguing test with France.
Alan Shearer thinks England have the potential go all the way in Qatar, telling BBC Sport: “This is the stage when we can start to look at England’s possible path to the final and, like I say, there is nothing to be scared of.
“The England players cannot say it, but they must be thinking the same thing – and why not, because this is a great opportunity for them.
“Their momentum is building and their confidence is growing so, yes, it is looking good.
“There were some huge performances from our players against Senegal, but the manager deserves as much credit as they do.
“Southgate made some more big calls with his team selection for that game, and got all of them absolutely spot on again.”
Southgate himself, meanwhile, has picked out France trio Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann as dangermen for his team to look out for.
“Of course (Mbappe) is a world-class player and has already delivered big moments in this tournament and in previous tournaments,” he said.
“But there’s also, I think (Antoine) Griezmann is now over 70 consecutive games for France and I think he’s also a phenomenal player.
“We know Olivier Giroud so well and they have outstanding young midfield players as well.
“So, everywhere you look when we’re studying France at every age group, they have an incredible depth of talent in every position.
“It’s a huge test but one that we’re really looking forward to and it’s a great challenge for our team now.”