Gazza injury scare
Sunday 26 May 1996
Gascoigne was not included in the team after a blister he suffered during England's 3-0 win over China on Thursday turned septic during the journey to Hong Kong. Gascoigne developed a lump in his groin and he found training difficult yesterday.
The problem stemmed from the boots Gascoigne wore during the match against China. When the final whistle went Gascoigne immediately pulled them off and spoke to the England physios, Alan Smith and Dave Butler. He then sat down during the presentation ceremony while most of the team stood. It was thought he was suffering from exhaustion as he had covered a lot of ground, but the problem proved more serious.
The poisoning emerged during Friday's three-hour flight to the colony, and England will be hoping that it has cleared up before Gascoigne is subjected to the 13-and-a-half hour flight home on Monday.
While the injury is unlikely to prevent Gascoigne from appearing in Euro 96, it is something of a disappointment for the Hong Kong spectators who were more anxious to see him in action than any other player. He may be among the substitutes.
In a departure from recent policy, Venables has selected a flat back four for the game, featuring Tony Adams and Steve Howey in central defence. It seemed a curious choice for a game which England expected to dominate, especially as the chance to play Paul Ince, who is being groomed for a new role as defender-cum-midfielder, in the back four was passed up. Ince was chosen in midfield.
Venables said he had not considered playing Ince at the back but would not say why. The most likely reason was the need to give games to both Howey and Adams. Venables did detail the reasons for Phil Neville's inclusion at right-back, explaining: "He is very comfortable on the right and has spent much of his career there. I wanted to see him playing there for us." The decision raises the prospect of the Neville brothers, Phil and Gary, competing for the same position in Euro 96.
The other main interest in a team which showed eight changes from that which beat China 3-0 was the inclusion of Les Ferdinand in attack.
England arrive home early on Tuesday and their 22-man squad for Euro 96 is expected to be announced the next day.
England (4-4-1-1): Seaman; P Neville, Adams, Howey, Pearce; Stone, Ince, Platt, McManaman; Sheringham; Ferdinand.
Flexible England, page 24
Latest in Sport
Manchester City vs Southampton: Frank Lampard shuns the limelight ahead of his Premier League farewell
Francis Coquelin: The would-be Zinedine Zidane now making an impression as Arsenal’s Claude Makelele
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Gunners snub that redefined Tim Sherwood
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger sets deadline for Theo Walcott contract talks with Liverpool keeping a close eye on his future
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...