Letter: Problems bigger than England's

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Indy Lifestyle Online
IAN RIDLEY'S compassionate and disturbing article on the disintegration of Paul Gascoigne as both a man and a footballer was heartening ("Diary of the downfall", Sport, 7 June). The most important point can be lost amidst the swirl of nonsense written about his exclusion from England's World Cup squad: that Gascoigne needs to be helped to help himself, rather than mollycoddled and indulged. He faces a formidable struggle against his inner demons which makes England's supposed obstacles in the World Cup appear as inconsequential trivialities. Neither condemnation nor flattery will help him to come to terms with himself and it is to be hoped he has at least one real friend to turn to.

David Downey