Gascoigne did not start his first game for England until May 23, 1989 – having been a Newcastle regular since 1985, on the cover of the Rothmans Football Yearbook in 1986, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year in 1988 and breaking the British transfer record that summer with his move to Tottenham. So he was a year in at Tottenham, before Robson started him RS gold. I spent quite a lot of time with Terry Venables, Tottenham’s manager, in that period and a fairly constant theme of his was, ‘why the hell isn’t Bobby starting Gazza?

He got there in the end but I think a lot of people saw Robson as rather late to this party. Gascoigne had made 78 club appearances before he started his first England game – and was still turning out for the B team as late as December 12, 1989. Paul Gascoigne lit up the tournament.

Italia 90 but he only made his first start for England the year beforeRobson was slated by the sport journalists, far worse than Hodgson. Atheismisunstoppable, Slough.I don’t think he was slated by all sides, but I agree they were different times and the way the England manager was treated could be gruesome and wouldn’t be repeated now.

There was some very well expressed criticism from respected writers such as Brian Glanville and David Lacey, and some rather less measured outbursts on the front and back pages because the England manager was caught in the crossfire of a tabloid red-top circulation battle between.