As soon as I heard Shaw, I thought a lot of the media would pick him up. This is why so many gamers speak like robots. You know what they’re going to say before they say it.
All the coverage was about Shaw saying the Manchester United side were not in the same boat, not giving it their all. This is not how I interpreted what he was saying. I felt like he meant that they didn’t bond as a team, although he certainly criticized their efforts.
Anthony Gordon scored his first two goals for Everton this weekend and you could see as he clenched his fists after each one what that meant to him, but as soon as he was interviewed he was in robot mode, explaining how bittersweet it was because his team lost.
I just wanted him to say he was absolutely buzzing but I went.
When I made my England debut at 17, I scored in a 6-4 loss to Germany. I knew it wasn’t the right thing to go into the locker room and start celebrating, but that was all I was thinking about underneath. Even in a team sport, your individual performance matters.
It’s so refreshing when someone opens up a bit.
Michail Antonio, former Sheffield Wednesday player at West Ham United, is comfortable and happy to laugh. Rotherham United manager Paul Warne always comes up so well in interviews, and everyone who knows him says he’s just a really nice guy. You want people like them to be successful.
As a female footballer in my time, I never had any media training because the attention was much lower but if we reached the FA Cup final the BBC and the local media would take an interest and the players not used to doing interviews would be put in front of a camera. . Lots of people liked it because you got a feel for the characters. I remember a family friend saying it was great knowing who the jokers were, who were the toughest, focused and professional.
Olympic rower Katherine Grainger once came to talk to us before a game against England so when we scored we had a celebration of rowing. I was the last in the line and screwed it up, doing it like a canoeist while they all rowed!
I was asked the question later. I was happy to explain, and thought I should because it was interesting.
There is still a balance.
Lukaku was too honest with Sky Italia.
I don’t know why he asked to do the interview without talking to Chelsea about it and I couldn’t see what he would gain from it.
Thomas Tuchel handled it very well, dropping him against Liverpool and then bringing him back against Tottenham Hotspur after apologizing. Some people have said that Tuchel cuts his nose off despite his face, but you just can’t have players behaving like that no matter who they are or how much they get paid.
If you’re not happy with the situation, talk to the coach, the captain, anyone except the media.
When I played for England we started getting media training and now they get a lot of it, at club level too, with people like Jonathan Pearce and Geoff Shreeves asking tough questions, putting them on the point, dig deep into personal problems, then they learn to cope.
For us it was more about practicing and if you said something that they thought you shouldn’t they would respond to you.
Knowing what to say and what not to say is important, but we don’t want to exclude personalities.
Marcelo Bielsa speaks clearly English but does all his interviews through a translator as he doesn’t want to be misinterpreted when so much can be read in one word that he might not 100% understand – by the players too.
Bielsa was ridiculed last season when he named his Leeds United side to face West Ham two days earlier.
“To avoid any backlash I will not continue to give answers about which players can and cannot play,” he said at his next press conference, and Leeds fans are now getting much less information before each match.
Honesty is better than robots.