Conor Coady reveals he loves EVERY MINUTE with the England squad
‘I am not going to mope that I am not playing…’ Conor Coady reveals he loves EVERY MINUTE he has with the England squad and he’s approaching matches with Italy and Germany as if they are ‘the last games on the planet’
- Everton loan star Conor Coady tells Sportsmail that he will do anything to help England to win, regardless of whether he is picked to play or not
- He’s been named in 31 England squads but has only won 10 caps in two years
- However, Coady, 29, is hugely valued by Gareth Southgate and his coaches
- And now bang in form he could yet be a prominent player at the World Cup
England defender Conor Coady may not always have a leading role on the international stage, but you can be sure he is as important to the Three Lions as any player in the reckoning for the World Cup finals in Qatar.
The Everton loan star is with the national team in Milan, preparing to face Italy on Friday and he is taking part in his 31st England squad. However, in two-and-a-half years, he has only racked up 10 caps.
Manager Gareth Southgate has often preferred John Stones and Harry Maguire as the centre backs in a defensive four, with further competition from Tyrone Mings and then Kyle Walker has come into consideration in a back three.
Conor Coady has been a member of 34 England squads, but only claimed 10 caps in two years
The 29-year-old is a popular member of the squad who is in top form and pushing for a place
Coady, 29, did not appear on the pitch at all in England’s run to the final of Euro 2020, and in the 13 squads since then he has had five starts, which have returned four wins and one defeat (away to Hungary in the Nations League).
But this remarkable and irrepressible man refuses to be downbeat because he struggles to be the first choice in the biggest games. Coady simply channels his energy into everyone else.
‘Every player is desperate to play, but at the same time you come here with one goal and that is to win no matter what you are doing,’ Coady told Sportsmail.
‘I have played football for a long time; I know what it consists of and I know at times. you want to play every minute of every game…but if I am not going to do that what is the best thing to do?
Gareth Southgate and his team appreciate Coady’s contribution even when he does not play
‘Is it to sulk and mope and go to your room and not speak to anybody and keep your head down? Or is it to try and help everybody around you and help the lads as much as you can.
‘Coming away [with England] and wearing the England shirt, it is the best feeling in the world, training with the boys every single day and seeing the standard of training, it is the best.’
However, in the forthcoming games – Germany at Wembley follows the encounter with Italy – Coady could be forgiven for expecting to play.
He is in good form for his new club, Everton, where he is on loan for the season from Wolves. Alongside James Tarkowski, Coady has contributed to one of the best defensive records in the top flight. The Toffees have shipped just six goals this term.
On loan at Everton, Coady has contributed to an excellent defensive record this season
In addition, Harry Maguire has suffered a traumatic time at Manchester United and has fallen down the pecking order, behind Raphael Varane and new signing, Lisandro Martinez.
But just as Coady looks to be taking a step towards the England starting line-up, up pops Eric Dier, who by his own admission is in the form of his life, and Fikayo Tomori, who has earned his own spurs winning the Serie A title with AC Milan last season.
Where he plays or not, Southgate clearly recognises Coady’s value to the success of the England team. He has been a key part of the rejuvenation of the squad after England’s semi-final finish at the 2018 World Cup, bringing energy and perspective in equal measure, as well as good performances.
Despite not playing a single minute at Euro2020, England assistant Steve Holland described Coady as the nation’s player of the tournament.
Coady is enjoying an excellent season on loan at Everton, who have conceded just six goals
‘I am not going to come back to my room and mope and sulk that I am not playing I am going to push the lads as hard as I can because I am here to help,’ said Coady.
‘And when my time comes, if my time comes, I’ll be ready. But I am enjoying every minute of it. It is important we are all in it for the same thing and that is to win.’
The Nations League matches in this international break come at a tricky moment for England.
Disappointment at the defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final last year, and the ugly aftermath of abuse of those players who missed their kicks, has given way to a hangover that has been hard to shift.
The centre back was allowed to leave Wolves in the summer after seven years service
In four Nations League matches in June, England managed two draws and two defeats, losing away and at home to Hungary, the latter a 4-0 humiliation at Molineux.
Even so, Coady keeps the faith in himself and his team mates and still has the belief England can win the World Cup in Qatar in December.
But where does that confidence come from?
‘Seeing how the lads play in the Premier League every single week,’ Coady says simply. He is the sort of person who lends confidence in every conversation.
‘We have got such a talented squad of players; we have got such unity around the group. I see that every time I come away. That is what fills me with confidence… that we can go over there and do something remarkable for the country.
‘It is important we go [to Qatar] full of confidence, but we approach these two games now as if they are the last games on the planet.’
Jamie Carragher brings together the great and good for Football for Change Gala, raising £350,000
Jamie Carragher, Conor Coady, Trent Alexander-Arnold and a host of football stars and celebrities joined forces to raise £292,000 at a charity gala in aid of young people, last night.
Money-can’t-buy lots went under the hammer at the Football for Change Gala 2022, held in Manchester on Thursday, which was supported by Mail Online.
In addition to the auction, the great and the good also made generous donations expected to take the total raised closer to £350,000, which will support youngsters in deprived areas, who are struggling to access education and employment.
Jamie Carragher is chairman of a new charity Football for Change helping youngsters
Despite being driving forces behind the event, Coady and Alexander-Arnold missed the bash, since they are away in Italy on England duty. But they addressed the star-studded audience through a video.
‘We want to help children who are may be underprivileged to get some support in their life,’ said Coady. ‘This is massive.’
Carragher, the chairman of Football for Change, had raided his contacts book to bring in the prizes and the guests. The top lot was a VIP trip to to the US, to meet David Beckham and his Inter Miami team. There was breakfast with Everton boss Frank Lampard, which sold for £6,000 and a backstage experience at BT Sport, with Steve McManaman, which went for £10,000.
A VIP backstage pass to the Glastonbury festival to meet Noel Gallagher, who performed with his High-Flying Birds band on the night, fetched £25,000, and one of the Oasis legend’s signed guitars went for £30,000.
Noel Gallagher’s guitar was auctioned at the Football for Change Gala for £30,000
‘It is a wonderful event,’ McManaman, the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and England winger, and now a BT Sport pundit, told Sportsmail. ‘It is a fantastic. It is so busy. It is really nice, even though the title is Football for Change, the amount of people who have turned up from different activities it is really good to see.’
The charity, which is supported by Conor Coady and Trent Alexander-Arnold, among many others, is already funding a life-changing project for 40 young people, who travelled to the US for a sport and education programme, a training scheme for homeless youngsters, and a new education hub for young people in Bootle.
‘It’s a fantastic event,’ ex-England and Manchester United midfielder and coach, Michael Carrick, told Sportsmail, last night. ‘I am passionate about helping young people, who are not as fortunate as others and this is amazing.
Coleen Rooney and TV presenter Vernon Kay attended the Football for Change gala
‘You have to try to support events like this it is so important we do that because times are getting tough for people, it is important that we try and stick together and help people as much as we can.’
Across the country, 711,000 young people aged 16 to 24 currently find themselves out of education and employment, with well-founded fears that the cost-of-living crisis and an economic downturn is about to make life even harder.
Among 16-17-year-olds, the most recent figure for so-called NEETs nationwide is 64,720, of whom 1,950 live in the Liverpool City Region. Two hundred of those youngsters have been identified in Sefton, the area where Carragher grew up
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