Shropshire Star

Steve Bull: England do not need to fear anyone

Tonight’s quarter-final between England and France has all the makings of a World Cup classic.


Before the second round match against Senegal I was nervous but I thought after an iffy first half-hour we were brilliant. It was a proper all-round team performance.

After that display and getting through the feeling now is “bring it on” as I really feel we can have a good go at any team left in the tournament. If we can win tonight, we really could go all the way. That is how big a game it is.

I’m planning to watch the match in the pub with my daughter and I’m quietly confident Gareth Southgate’s men can do the business.

France are a very good side, the defending champions, but I think we have the pace and energy in our team to trouble them.

Of course, they have Kylian Mbappe, possibly the best player in the world at the moment who possesses frightening pace.

It’s a challenge for our defenders but one they should embrace. Before the tournament everyone was pointing to the backline as England’s weakest link and so this is a real chance to silence the critics by keeping one of the stars of the world game quiet.

One of the big plus points for England in the tournament so far has been the midfield and I was pleased to see Jordan Henderson open the scoring against Senegal.

He’s always a Mr 100 Per Cent. As fans we never tend to look too much at the likes of Henderson. We tend to focus on the flair players and the ones who can turn a game in an instant.

But you need players like that, who are heartbeat of sides. Henderson might not get noticed as much as regular goalscorers but he is a die-hard for England.

He never chucks his dummy out the pram, he rolls his sleeves up, if he’s playing or not.

Alongside him, Jude Bellingham continues to put the Black Country on the map.

For a young lad he’s got such an old head on his shoulders. He’s only going to get better and better.

I’m glad he’s in our side rather than anyone else’s!

n I went to see Aladdin at the Grand Theatre this week and absolutely loved the show. It is a great festive, family watch, especially for youngsters. It runs until January 7.