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Paul Gascoigne has backed James Maddison as creative heir to his position in England team

‘There are too many robots because there is so much pressure’: England legend Paul Gascoigne backs James Maddison as creative heir to his position in Gareth Southgate’s side

  • Leicester playmaker stands out from ‘robots’ being created by modern coaches 
  • Paul Gascoigne spoke in Glasgow as Premier Sport launched Serie A coverage
  • He has been watching events at former club Newcastle with interest this season 
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England legend Paul Gascoigne has backed James Maddison as the creative heir to his position in the national team – because the Leicester playmaker stands out from the ‘robots’ being created by modern coaches.

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‘I don’t know what these coaches are doing to our young players coming through, I really don’t, because we don’t have many players like Maddison coming through,’ said Gazza.

‘He wants to be on the ball, he is creative, he takes people on. I’ve seen him do that often for Leicester, when I’ve been watching games.

Paul Gascoigne has backed James Maddison as creative heir to his position in England team

Paul Gascoigne has backed James Maddison as creative heir to his position in England team

‘There are too many robots, definitely, because there is so much pressure on players and managers not to lose the game – they’re frightened to lose.

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‘I always say keep trying things and, eventually, it will work out. But they’re afraid to try.

‘Gareth Southgate has done a great job, got them playing great football.

‘They just miss that something creative in the middle, the willingness to have a go at someone. Just have a go.’

Gascoigne, speaking in Glasgow as Premier Sport launched their coverage of Serie A, has been watching events at former club Newcastle with interest this season.

And he sympathised with new manager Steve Bruce, saying: ‘I felt sorry for Steve at the weekend (in Newcastle’s 1-0 away win over Spurs).

Gascoigne (R) was speaking in Glasgow as Premier Sport launched their coverage of Serie A
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Gascoigne (R) was speaking in Glasgow as Premier Sport launched their coverage of Serie A

Gascoigne (R) was speaking in Glasgow as Premier Sport launched their coverage of Serie A

‘He was a nervous wreck in those last 20 minutes. You shouldn’t see him like that.

‘I saw his face at the final whistle and thought he was going to break down and cry.

‘The pressure Steve must be under is great. When Graeme Souness was manager of Newcastle, he called me up from a restaurant and asked me to go down and speak to him.

Gascoigne, who's been watching events at ex-club Newcastle, sympathised with Steve Bruce
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Gascoigne, who's been watching events at ex-club Newcastle, sympathised with Steve Bruce

Gascoigne, who’s been watching events at ex-club Newcastle, sympathised with Steve Bruce

‘He asked for help. He said “How do I win these fans over? I’ve won two games in a row and they still want me out.”

‘I said “Win every game, win every cup, win everything and you might be alright. If not, f*** off back to where you were!”‘

Gascoigne, who has battled with personal demons including alcohol addiction since retiring, said: ‘I’ve been good, I’ve been looking after myself.

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‘I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow – but right now I’m enjoying it. Hopefully it stays like that.’