At this time of the year the sports media are usually getting involved in Test matches, golf tournaments and have an eye on Wimbledon, but every four years the football carries on through June into July because of the World Cup.

Unfortunately for them there is that bit of a gap where there are no competitive games but they still have to find some stories.

With the new manager, Gareth Southgate, involved with England, the media have been happy to work with him, but still headlines have been more about tattoos and depression etc.

What it means is unlike some previous relationships between the press and the management the doors were opened, literally at the headquarters at St George’s by The FA last week.

Every player in the squad, all 23 of them, were placed around the room, each at his own table, with the media able to wander round and get to talk with them as well as Gareth and his staff.

This is very important because for the next few weeks they will be together.

I well remember my first flight abroad when I worked with Graham Taylor.

We were sat at the front of the plane, behind the directors of course who probably had the best seats, then there was the players, with the rest, including the media, at the back of the plane.

I noted every now and again a player would get up and walk to the back, we assumed going to the toilet.

But I soon realised it was giving the media an opportunity to get some stories.

I then suggested to Graham that we switched it round and from then on we sat at the back with the players in front of us and the press up front just behind the directors so we could see what was going on.

I think Gareth has done it the right way and everyone wants him to do well.

If we look at history we won of course in 1966 and I think just about every four years since then England supporters have expected us to win again. But not nowadays.

The reason is because the Premier League has taken over, the money having flowed in has meant that the players all around the world are coming here, which is good for the week-by-week game but not so much for the England manager.

He often has to go to games, particularly when the top six clubs are involved, and look hard to try and spot English players.

The fact there are only about 25 per cent now in the Premier League is concerning as it does not mean they are all of international standard.

Gareth has got off to a good start and I think it’s over ten games without losing, spirits are high, but I remember Graham himself had one of the best starts of any England manager but we all know the problem was when it got to the big tournaments.

Gareth has impressed everyone with his down to earth common-sense statements and attitude and he has not made any excuses.

But if you look at his squad it is very young both in age and experience and that is where the main issue is.

I was responsible for the B and under-21 teams in my day and I see that our under-21 team is in the final as I speak of the Toulon tournament which they have won the last two years.

My teams did the same and won it twice, but it included players such as Alan Shearer, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Darren Anderton and many others who on returning home went straight into their club’s first teams.

The difference now is our under-21s come back and many of them are just reserves.

Another good thing about the Toulon tournament was one year Brazil were there.

Instead of doing a training session I took all of my team over to watch Brazil. I got talking to their coach and he told me their system was different in so far as whereas my players were all 19, 20 or 21-years-old, his were much younger.

They were not too bothered about winning the tournament but it was giving them experience of international football and they were going from one competition to another all round the world.

That meant when they reached the age to get to the first team they had that sort of experience.

That might be the big problem for England this time.

There has been good work in the last two games but it will be much different when we get to Russia and of course some of the players we come up against will be well known to us, for instance, the Belgium team with Eden Hazard and co, and that is when realism hits everyone.

On the plus side the supporters have now realised all of this, they are not, I think, expecting England to win the World Cup, but would love to and will give them 100 per cent support.

They understand Southgate’s problems I have mentioned and providing we get through the first stages any success from then on in will be loudly applauded.