The England Party

Alf’s 22

Alan Mullery profile
Alan Mullery:
England went into the 1970’s finals using very similar tactics to those used four years earlier. Alf Ramsey had won the World Cup and we were happy to be guided by him. We all knew our job within the team. I was very fit and could do the running needed in midfield. Bally was full of energy too. Bobby Moore was brilliant at marshalling things at the back. Martin Peters was very consistent and excellent at drifting into the box late. And Geoff Hurst still led the line very well indeed… Alf picked you to do the job you did for your own club.

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Patrick profile
Patrick Burke:
I was in full agreement with Alf’s choice of squad. We knew that the climate and altitude would be against us but we were buoyed by the fact the experts rated the team better than the ’66 team.
Jasper profile
Jasper Cook:
I always thought that every time somebody played against the ‘Alf Ramsay’ England – nobody was going to beat us. That remained constant with me. I was a 200% Alf Ramsey supporter. Everyone will always say ‘Oh, why hasn’t he included so-and-so’, but I had no qualms at all about the squad. The preparation seemed to be very thorough.
Peter profile
Peter Logan:
Alf did things his own way. A quiet man. I trusted him. And Bobby Moore was probably one of the worlds greatest then.
Stanley Lewis:
Good squad. And a lot of the same players who’d won the World Cup in ‘66. I really thought we could win it again.
Alan Mullery profile
Alan Mullery:
We had some very strong characters, but the spirit was excellent. Alf deserves credit for that.

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The Worlds’ Against Us?

Patrick profile
Patrick Burke:
The so-called snub by Alf Ramsey was probably a bad PR move. I remember that England shipped over their own team motor coach and brought their own food. It didn’t please the locals. I think all the other teams used the coaches provided by the organisers. A snub like this would now be seen – like Capello – as attention to detail. Alf said he wanted his players to have their own food. It was fair enough but was seen as a slight on the Mexican food. There’s no point in people going to a strange country and then going down with a food bug.
Alan Mullery profile
Alan Mullery:
Alf would not let us touch the local food. And that also applied to the local water. As ever, Alf wanted what was best for the team, but it turned into a PR nightmare.

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Jasper profile
Jasper Cook:
The animosity shown towards the England team and its supporters – as apparently portrayed on radio, television and press reports – was in no way exaggerated. But the staff at our motel was very good. In fact it was them who explained to us why England was suddenly unpopular with the locals. The reason was that when the official England party arrived at the Guadalajara Hilton, they virtually, although not completely, snubbed the official welcome. The Mexican people had been genuinely upset. Not at all surprising. But what concerned me most was the reasons for this attitude from a people we had been led to believe, were among the more friendly races. An English speaking Mexican courier assured me that before England arrived in Mexico, there was a good measure of support for us. There seemed little doubt to me – and the feeling was pretty general throughout our party – that England could not afford to adopt such an attitude. Whilst not expecting Sir Alf to act as ‘mine host’ and ‘soccer supremo’, it seemed quite clear that the Football Association should have given serious consideration to appointing a well known ‘diplomat’ to attend official Receptions. Somebody like Joe Mercer sprang readily to mind.
Patrick profile
Patrick Burke:
I wasn’t aware of any hostility though. After all there was no history of bad blood like, say, England and Argentina. But the press were probably trying to stir things up. End of Chapter - Mexico70 Sombrero
 
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