When players gather together from different clubs for a long period of time such as the current tournament in Qatar, very soon difference in culture and the way of doing things will emerge. While Gareth Southgate has been praised for breaking down the cliques that previously used to exist in the camp whenever the Three Lions used to congregate, the players who play their domestic football under Pep Guardiola immediately stand out.
Kyle Walker, John Stones, Kalvin Phillips, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish give a very blue tinge to the Manchester-based players in the squad, with Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and Shaw himself the only three United representatives. But Grealish has revealed that Shaw has admitted the two groups have an entirely different approach to matchday preparation.
“Luke Shaw said to me, when I come away with England you can tell who the City lads are,” he said. “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You always have a ball, you always want a ball.’
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“It’s true. Me, even Kyle, Phil – we’re just always wanting a ball, whether it be back home, at the camp, or here. Lads will just be doing stretches and that, getting ready for training or playing basketball and me and Phil will just be playing two-touch.
“We get that from being at City.” Once it was pointed out to Grealish, the £100m signing realised he had never experienced another dressing room like it, either.
“At Villa, they’d be sitting there on their phones,” Grealish said. “Whereas at City, you’re sitting there and balls are going flying across the changing room.
“It’s people playing two-touch. I think it’s the culture at City, where everyone just loves to have a football and we bring that here.”
The FA shared a video of Grealish and Foden showcasing their skills at St George’s Park before flying out and it has already had over a million views.
“Too right!” Grealish said. “Did you see the tekkers? It was good. Me and Phil do that all the time. It just comes natural to us. We have always got a ball at our feet and we have a good connection, we’re close friends. It was a nice little video.”