Tuesday 15 October 2019

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Gareth Southgate should make a couple of changes to his side against Panama to freshen things up and win the game today. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

Stephen Hunt: After seeing all the big guns at the World Cup, I still think England will go all the way 

There are obviously many world-class players on show in Russia but are there any world-class coaches out there? Spain sacked their manager on the eve of the finals and the team, the style of play and their brilliance has stayed the same under Fernando Hierro. If the departure of Julen Lopetegui to Real Madrid caused turmoil in the Spanish camp, you can't see it in their performances so far.

Kevin Doyle, right, with his old friend and team-mate Stephen Hunt: ‘Not one time have I watched a game and thought, jeez, I’d love to be out there’. Photos: Frank McGrath

'Jenny knew I was hiding the truth and she said I had to come clean' - Kevin Doyle sits down with Stephen Hunt 

They were team-mates for Reading, Wolves and the Republic of Ireland, playing more than 200 games together, they were neighbours and now they are family. After a golf lesson with professional Jamie O'Sullivan at Rosslare Golf Club, Colin Young sat down with Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle as the pair reminisced and, for the first time, Doyle revealed the full story behind his decision to retire due...

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Stephen Hunt: Ronaldo the unlikely hero showing youngsters it's not all about money for top footballers 

One of the most important pointers for what happens in football in 2017 might well have come in the last few days of 2016. I was very impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to turn down an astronomical deal to go to China. Even if there was an element of PR behind it, I think it sends a very loud message and sets a significant example in what is likely to be one of the biggest stories...

Stephen Hunt relaxing with his then Irish and Reading teammates Kevin Doyle and Shane Long

Stephen Hunt: There's no pigging out for footballers at Christmas time 

There's one thing that stands out for me from all my years of experience in England's famous Christmas schedule. It would be the effect on the body, and the stomach - but not because of the turkey dinner or anything like that. It was because I used to have my own pre-match routine that would be repeated a little too often in too short a time. If it was a 3.0pm game, I'd have two coffees in the morning, a thing called Phase 1, that was around the same as six or seven coffees, although I eventually replaced that with Red Bull, and then I might take some caffeine tablets too.

Jason McAteer

Stephen Hunt: You don't need to be playing well for your club in order to stand out for your country 

If you were to properly lay it out - regardless of whatever else is happening in the world - there probably haven't been too many years in Irish football history as good as 2016, even from the really great times. The fact that we moved up 10 places in the Fifa world rankings announced last week is a nice little sign-off. It reflects how the team have built on the genuine success of Euro 2016,...