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Shilts - ever the optimist

These days, players are trained in how to deal with media. The basic rule is this: Talk a lot, without actually saying anything.

Lots of soundbites, make it sound meaningful and, by the time the journalists have left the press conference, gone home and typed up their notes, they realise that there is no story there at all. In fact, isn't that lot exactly the same as his team-mate said last week?

But there was a time when players actually said what they thought. It's just that, sometimes - as in the case of this ex-England goalkeeper - it doesn't quite have the desired effect. An attempt to put a positive spin on his country's chances of tournament success goes horribly wrong and presents itself with an all-too familiar air of inevitability:

"I believe that we'll win the World Cup until the final whistle blows and we're knocked out"

Peter Shilton 


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