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TALKING ENGLAND

Posted on 22 June 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Our director of football David Pleat, speaking from South Korea, gives his views on England's departure from the World Cup.

EVERYONE IS very disappointed by England's exit but it's been a great adventure and we've won a lot of friends out here.

It was unfortunate to go out the way we did but there cannot be too many recriminations.

Unfortunately the manner of the second goal was a ball that David Seaman, who has been a wonderful goalkeeper over a long period of time, would have normally coped with.

It is a huge strain on players to reach the last eight of the World Cup, especially in such very humid conditions. It is not easy for our players and we are one side that has certainly suffered after a long, gruelling domestic season.

By the same token, South Korea and the USA trained specifically for the competition and have not had the number of high-quality games the English players have had beforehand.

Sven Goran Eriksson has a lot to build on. There were some good players unable to come to the tournament and some very good players coming through in the Under-21s and that will help us challenge in the European Championships.

The hospitality and arranging of the media and supporters from all over the world has been excellent. My only criticism is the use of so many stadiums - 10 in South Korea, 10 in Japan - when a stadium like Ulsan, where I was for the Germany v USA quarter-final on Friday, was only used for three matches.

The Koreans have won the hearts of everyone with the way they have played and their massive enthusiasm for the game.

They've played some super football and have showed that Asian football is certainly on the upgrade.

The African nations also continue to progress. They are better organised and disciplined and will improve further when they understand the importance of moving the ball quickly and passing the ball as opposed to running with it, especially in the wrong areas.

The Africans, Asians and USA have won many admirers and have proved that the European 'aristocracy' of football should not be complacent.