Shaw: I'd lost hope for England return
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has admitted that the thought of never playing for England again had crossed his mind.
Our no.23 went to the World Cup with the Three Lions at the tender age of 18 in 2014 and picked up six of his eight caps before turning 21.
His last appearance for Gareth Southgate’s side came in a Nations League match with Spain in September 2018, but earlier this week it was announced that he had been recalled due to his impressive recent form for the Reds.
In a revealing interview with club media’s Stewart Gardner, Luke acknowledged that he had ‘made bad mistakes’ where England were concerned but, at the beginning of the current campaign, he had vowed to do his utmost to force his way back into Southgate’s thoughts.
“Yeah, I think so,” Shaw said, after being asked whether or not he had lost hope of playing for the Three Lions again.
“At times, I made bad mistakes, pulling out of squads maybe at times when I shouldn’t have. That was down to me.
“Of course, back then, I was going through bad times. There was in the back of my mind, especially my family and my girlfriend, they thought that it was done.
“At the start of the season I had ambitions and sat down with my girlfriend and said that I wanted to get back in the England squad, doing everything I can to be back there. You know, of course with my form, I thought there was a bigger chance than ever that I could be back in it.
“Gladly, Gareth’s given me another opportunity to be involved in there, so I’m just really happy and honoured to be selected again. Hopefully I can show Gareth why I deserve a spot in the squad.”
Euro 2020 will finally go ahead in June and July, after last year's postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now he has been called back into the national set-up for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with San Marino, Albania and Poland, Shaw has set the target of being part of this summer's pan-European tournament, after disappointingly missing out on the reckoning for Russia 2018.
“Of course, it was expected, my form wasn’t brilliant back then. I wasn’t playing too much,” he recalled.
“Of course, you always have hopes as an England player of going to big tournaments like that and you know, they did an amazing World Cup that year. I was happy to sit and watch it but it’s one of them where you want to be involved.”
Now, he wants to state his claim as part of a side which is packed with talent and will be ranked as one of the competition’s favourites.
“The way it was going, I think the England squad is really strong at the moment,” he said enthusiastically.
“Good times are coming with tournaments and what-not and you want to be more involved. It’s important now to maybe show Gareth now why I deserve a spot in that squad.
“You know, hopefully I can grab a spot in the Euros squad to come.”
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Following some dark periods over the last few years, Shaw is enjoying life on the football pitch once more, and United have benefited greatly from his upturn in form, especially since returning from a month-long lay-off at the beginning of December.
The 25-year-old says the last two-and-a-half years of not being picked for England are behind him and that he wants to make the most of the good period he is in now.
“100 per cent. Like you say, to enjoy it is the most important thing. I’m just going to go there, be myself, being back with the squad,” the left-back said.
“It’s a massive honour to be back for your country and whether I play or not, to be back in the squad is unbelievable for me and I’m really happy that I’m able to be in the squad.”