Sport World Cup

Friday 19 October 2018

Ashley Young puts 'zimmer frame' spat with Dele Alli in the past as they unite for England's World Cup campaign

Alli and Young shared words during Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in October CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Alli and Young shared words during Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in October CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Matt Law

Ashley Young has revealed he has buried the hatchet with Dele Alli and has urged the Tottenham Hotspur star to ignore the critics who believe he must take the devil out of his game at the World Cup.

Dele told Young to “retire with a zimmer frame” during Tottenham’s 1-0  defeat to Manchester United this season with the 32-year responding:  “When you’ve won the Premier League, let me know.”

The pair have since become England team-mates, following Young’s  international recall, and are preparing for the World Cup together at  St George’s Park.

Asked if he and Dele have managed to put their clash behind them,  Young said: “We had a laugh and a joke about it.”

Young refused to go into any detail about his joke with Dele, but did  back the 22-year-old’s win-at-all-costs mentality.   “A lot of people say he has to take it out of his game, but I think  he's one of those players that plays on the edge,” said Young. “He  winds people up. That's just him. He's a fantastic talent and, for me,  to have him in the squad is unbelievable. He's shown in previous  get-togethers and the last few days what a talent he can be, and what  a talent he is.”

Club rivalries have been taken into past England camps, but Young  insists there are no cliques in the current squad.

“A lot of things have been said by previous players, but here  everybody gets on with everyone,” he said. “Everyone is pulling in the  same direction.

“Obviously there is club rivalry, but when you are here with England,  you are representing your country. The rivalries get put to bed. They  are put aside. You are fighting together as one team.”

Young has demonstrated his own determination by winning a place in the  England World Cup squad, having been left in the international  wilderness for four years.

“I think it’s just the hunger and desire and passion I’ve got for the  game,” said Young. “I’m a born winner. I want to win games and I show  that.

“I wasn’t in squads, but I said before that I never gave up hope of  getting back into England squads. I just had to get out there and play  football and play as well as I could and, hopefully, the England  manager would come and call me up again.

“Now he’s done that and I’m going to a World Cup and the excitement  for me is massive. I’m delighted. I’m like a kid inside and I just  want to get there and get the tournament started.”

Young did not play in any of England’s qualifiers, having only been  recalled after for the friendlies against Germany and Brazil last  November, but could start at left wing-back in Russia.

“That doesn't play a part at all, whether I was involved in the  qualifiers or not, I'm here now,” said Young. “I'm here because I've  been rewarded for how my season has gone and how well I've done. The  manager has seen that.

“I’ve settled well into the squad, everybody has. The team spirit and  togetherness we have here is brilliant. You're welcomed into the squad  with open arms. I'm not thinking ‘because I haven't been in the  qualifiers, I shouldn't be here’. I'm like others in the squad, I  can't wait for the tournament to get started.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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