London, July 9: England coach Gareth Southgate said Monday that winning the World Cup would make the present team members ‘bigger heroes’ than players of the 1966 side because of the utility of the social media. It was a view which was to a certain extent endorsed by the man who made it possible – Geoff Hurst. He got a hat-trick in England’s 4-2 win over Germany in the final.
Hurst said Monday that the present squad under Gareth Southgate can match the achievements of Alf Ramsey’s men and go all the way for glory in Russia.
The 76-year-old admitted that Southgate had fostered an impressive spirit of togetherness in the squad which have been their USP in the tournament.
“Just like Sir Alf, he (Southgate) has also stuck by his players and has a very clear way of playing,” Hurst was quoted as saying by the ‘Sun’ newspaper.
“Probably one big difference is that we had four genuine world-class players in Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves (who did not play in the final). This squad don’t have those type of players. Maybe that’s because they are quite young and have their careers still in front of them,” Hurst added.
The former West Ham player also asserted that the biggest difference between the two generations has been the impact the social media makes in present times.
“We weren’t aware of everything going on in the country that time as we were kept in a bubble, but now with the social media the players are aware of everything happening outside,” Hurst pointed out.
Southgate endorsed Hurst’s comments. “I’ve met quite a few of those players and we know exactly how they’re held and perhaps, in the modern era, that would be even crazier,” Southgate was quoted as saying by a section of the British media. “Social media and everything else, the global thing is so much bigger.”
According to reports nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch England’s victory against Sweden. The social media is awash with videos of excited fans watching on big screens in bars and parks, fanatically celebrating every England goal.