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10th Jul 2024

Ex-England star admits to sharing information as he warns Southgate ‘leaks’ are inevitable

Zoe Hodges

‘You can’t help it!’

Prior to the Euro 2024 quarter-final, Gareth Southgate was furious when he found out his plans to switch formation to a back three had been leaked.

Already, Southgate’s team news for tonight’s semi-final against Netherlands appear to be out in the open with Luke Shaw starting on the bench as the Three Lions boss sticks with Kieran Trippier.

Though the 53-year-old is trying to keep his cards close to his chest, former England international Peter Crouch has said his efforts are futile.

Talking on That Peter Crouch Podcast, the former Liverpool striker said: “It’s happened since the start of time, it will always come out.

“You’ve got to remember how many people from the press, how many TV outlets, how many newspapers and radio people there are around the camp every single day.

He had no solution for how Southgate could prevent his secrets from being revealed: “Agents, families – unfortunately it will [get out]. I don’t see how that changes unless Gareth keeps the players guessing. Because they are [gonna tell].”

The 43-year-old who won 42 caps for his country, scoring 22 goals admitted to routinely leaking team news.

He said: “If I’m not starting on the weekend, I’m gonna tell me dad, ‘I’m not playing.’ Or ‘I am playing, get ready for this,’ y’know? You can’t help it. Then my dad tells his best mate, and things happen.”

Crouch, who spent five years in the England squad, spoke of the extremes some managers went to, to prevent leaks.

He said: “Rafa Benitez used to do that all the time. We wouldn’t have a clue what the team would be sometimes until it was announced on the Saturday. You’d play a certain shape, but the personnel you wouldn’t know.”

Marc Guehi is expected to return to the starting line up as he comes back from suspension. He’s also likely to start Kieran Trippier ahead of Luke Shaw who returned from injury as a substitute in the quarter final and will keep faith in captain Harry Kane despite critics calling for him to be dropped.

There’s not many secrets left to keep from the Netherlands at this point.