Luke Shaw reveals enormous regret that he has rejected England in previous seasons over fear of injury
‘I have withdrawn from many camps in England … I have disappointed Gareth’: Luke Shaw reveals enormous regret over disapproving past international duties for fear of injury … but Manchester United defender promises Southgate’s second chance for Euro to take. 2020
- Luke Shaw has vowed to grab his second chance with the England national team
- Shaw played the full 90 minutes for the Three Lions against Albania on Sunday
- Due to injuries, Shaw wondered if he would play for England again
Luke Shaw has vowed to seize his second chance at England after fearing he’d squandered his international career with a number of decisions he deeply regretted.
After a fantastic season for Manchester United, Shaw played the full 90 minutes against Albania on Sunday. It was his ninth cap, but it came seven years and three weeks after he made his England debut.
Shaw has always been highly regarded with the FA, but has a history of withdrawing from squads with fitness issues. The tipping point came three seasons ago.
Luke Shaw has vowed to grab his second chance at England after previous decisions
Shaw played the full 90 minutes for Gareth Southgate’s team against Albania on Sunday
First, he withdrew from Nations League games against Croatia and Spain in October 2018, then withdrew from the March 2019 teams for Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro, leading to a two-year hiatus. At the time, Shaw wondered if he would play for England again.
His family even told him at one point that they felt his time was up, but Shaw refused to accept that the door was closed. He kept in touch with Gareth Southgate and his persistence paid off when he was called up to these World Cup qualifiers. “I had some huge regrets,” said Shaw, 25, whose cross led to Harry Kane opening the scoring in Tirana.
‘I kept thinking about the mistakes I had made in the past. With England I have withdrawn from many camps. Over the past two years, I have thought about it so much with regret.
“Left Gareth … I tried to keep in touch with him to let him know things had changed. He said (this time) that he chose me on merit and that the past was the past. Hopefully we have now forgotten that and can focus on the future. I want to continue to impress him. ‘
Shaw wondered if he would return to England after years of injury
When asked about specific examples of how he had abandoned Southgate, Shaw replied, “Leaving camps was the biggest. Maybe I wasn’t right mentally then. The last time I played was Spain (at Wembley in September 2018). I didn’t play for my club that often then, but it showed that he trusted me.
‘You watched the World Cup, you could see how well they did and you can see how good the team is getting. I wanted to get involved in England again – who wouldn’t? I just have the privilege of getting another chance. I want to stay in the squad for more matches. ‘
It was heartening to see Shaw bloom on Sundays and the way he smiled as he reflected on the turn of events did not make you question his emotions.
In a similar way to Manchester City’s John Stones, it seemed inevitable that his excellent club form would be rewarded, but he wasn’t too sure.
The Man United star’s family even told him at one point that they felt his time was up
Reassurance came in a discreet conversation with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A week before Southgate revealed his side for the games against San Marino, Albania and Poland, Solskjaer summoned Shaw and confided a secret to him.
“Ole spoke to Gareth, and I think Ole was very happy for me, so he told me early,” Shaw said.
‘I kept it very quiet, I just told my girlfriend. I wanted to wait until I got the text (from the FA) – then I could tell my mom and dad. I really wanted to tell them, but I had to wait. There were some important games coming up for United, so my focus was on that. ‘
He could have been forgiven if he had told his parents, Paul and Joanna. They had wondered if England was over for him by the time Shaw looked in from the outside.
“We had a few discussions and my family thought I might not be able to get back in,” Shaw said. ‘Deep down I always believed I could. Luckily, Gareth gave me another chance. I just want to forget the mistakes and the past is the past. I hope I can impress him to stay with the squad. ‘