The Newcastle and Tottenham legend was left in despair after being left out of Glen Hoddle’s squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup over doubts about his fitness, ending his England career
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Paul Gascoign is considered one of Englands most talented player, but his run with the national team came to a sad end after his expulsion from the national team Glen Hoddle 1998 FIFA World Cup squad.
Gazza had put in a string of good performances to help the Three Lions qualify for the tournament, but after a series of pictures of him eating kebabs late at night were released just a week before the tournament, Hoddle was swayed to drop him after he had concerns about his fitness.
And despite being involved in the pre-tournament training camp, Gazza wasn’t on the plane to France, leading to him smashing Hoddle’s hotel room “to bits” following the news.
Each player was individually called to Hoddle’s hotel room to learn of their fate before the tournament squad was selected arsenal Legend Ian Wright was next after Gazza. Speaking of the Match of the Day: Top 10 Podcast in 2020, he said, “I was next. I thought Glen would call me to say he wasn’t taking me for some reason, but he called me to tell me who he was and what he wanted from me.
“I remember when I walked in and we actually talked about me being on the team while I was cleaning the room and fixing the mattress. The gaffer and I talked about what he needed from me and Michael [Owen] all the time while we were cleaning the room – things were torn to pieces! I was embarrassed thinking about how the gaffer had to deal with Gazza going crazy in the room. I just walked in and started helping clean up.”
It was news that shocked the majority of the nation as Gazza had played a key role in England’s qualification for the tournament, despite struggling domestically this season with just three goals in 36 games for Rangers and Middlesbrough.
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Gazza had received several warnings about his fitness and Hoddle felt he was not up to the standards of international football. The then 31-year-old admitted in his autobiography that he kept kicking the door, knocking over a table and only just resisting his urge to hit Hoddle. He would never perform for the Three Lions again.
But 12 years later, after England’s dismal performance at the 2010 World Cup, Gazza admitted Hoddle probably made the right decision to remove him from the 1998 World Cup squad. He said: “I had a situation with my ex-wife so credit to Hoddle. Even though I had a fight with him, he probably made the right decision.”
England were knocked out in the round of 16 by Argentina on penalties at France ’98 and even after David Beckham’s red card in that game and their traditional heartbreaking penalty shootout at St Etienne, Hoddle’s side were described as one of the ‘best’. expansive” at the tournament.
But the decision to ditch the much-revered Gazza has divided opinions across the nation in the years since that tournament, even to this day, as England have typically struggled. But one man who sticks to his guns because of his belief in shutting out the player is Hoddle himself.
Speaking on ITV4’s The Football Mavericks in May 2015, the former England manager described how he credited Gazza’s erratic talent as his own saddest moment as a manager, even if he still refuses to back down from his decision. He said: “I gave him so many opportunities to get fit.
“Six or seven months ago I said, ‘Look, you need to get fitter. This is another chance, this could be your last World Cup. But you could see that he was never fit. It was the saddest thing I’ve ever had to do, leaving Paul Gascoigne out. And that’s just because he wasn’t fit and wouldn’t have been fit for the tournament.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/paul-gascoigne-smashed-england-room-26704096 Paul Gascoigne 'tore to pieces' an England hotel room after the World Cup axe.