Gareth Southgate has been complimented by Luke Shaw for creating a “enjoyable” environment for him to escape his Manchester United issues. In England’s 2-1 win over Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday evening, the left-back scored the equalizer.
As part of their preparations for this year’s World Cup in Qatar, the Three Lions hosted Switzerland for a friendly. The visitors took the lead in the first half thanks to a header from Breel Embolo, but goals from Shaw and captain Harry Kane sealed the victory.
Shaw, 26, has had a rough season at Manchester United. His performances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his successor, Ralf Rangnick, have been questioned, with some claiming he was lucky to be selected for England’s friendlies this month.
United is now in sixth place in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal despite having played one extra game. They were unable to make an impact in the EFL Cup, FA Cup, or Champions League, extending their trophy drought to a sixth year.
Shaw discussed Southgate’s efforts and United’s campaign after Saturday’s game, saying it’s “impossible to appreciate it” when the club keeps losing. “I believe you always appreciate the environment here that Gareth creates,” the defender remarked.
“When I come here, it’s all about having fun and playing games with a smile on your face. I always do that when I come here. We all like playing for our nation, and when we’re here, we’re solely focused on what’s going on here; right now, my only concentration is England.”
When asked if he has to be happy to play well, Shaw responded, “I don’t think so.” “Everyone, I believe, does. It’s critical to feel wanted at all times. That’s how I always feel, especially here. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy my football at United, but the way things are now, I feel wanted and enjoy it.
“Football is primarily about having fun. When we’re losing and not performing well at club level, it’s difficult to appreciate it. That is something we must face. It’s been difficult to enjoy this season because it hasn’t been good enough. We recognize that we have a lot of room for improvement at the club. We’re currently in England, so we’re concentrating on that.”
Shaw’s goal was a fantastic left-footed shot from the edge of the box, recalling echoes of his goal in the Euro 2020 final against Italy. Both goals were scored at Wembley’s opposite end. When asked about his equalizer, Shaw remarked, “It was a bit of a deflection!”
“Gareth and Steve have talked about the wing-backs not only creating chances but also scoring their own goals in this system with the five. Nowadays, wing-backs need to be able to do that. It feels good to add another to the list. I haven’t got many opportunities, but it’s wonderful to score in front of your own fans. Hopefully, there will be more in the future.”
Shaw continued, ” “Wasn’t it the same corner? Of course, it’s a unique sensation. It’s sometimes difficult to comprehend. It’s always wonderful to score, but I believe tonight was more about the performance, winning the game, and maintaining the momentum.
“We varied up the team and a few guys made their debuts; they should be proud of their efforts because they were outstanding.”