Four England stars all make the same point about ex-Middlesbrough star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

England coach Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink during an England team training session
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)


England stars Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Luke Shaw and Trent Alexander Arnold have all praised the impact of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the Three Lions camp.

The former Middlesbrough star has been part of Gareth Southgate's England coaching staff since March 2023, with the pair reuniting after their playing days together at the Riverside. This being their first international tournament together, Hasselbaink has been receiving plenty of credit over the course of the summer as England have made it to the semi-finals.

Getting there hasn't always been the most plain sailing and it took a penalty shoot-out for Southgate's side to book their place in the last four against the Netherlands. But that penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland saw England dispatch five out of five spot kicks, with Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham praising Hasselbaink after.

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The Champions League winner told BBC radio: 'It's a first for me to be involved in one, to take one. I have awful memories kind of growing up and I think the first Euro that I was really interested in was the one against Italy [Euro 2012] with the dink from [Andrea] Pirlo.

"I was really confident in my preparation, confident in the things I talked through with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, he's stepped up for us massively. It's the work that he does behind closed doors, with the lads being willing to take on that information, that put us in those situations in order to be able to win."

Manchester City star Phil Foden shared similar sentiments on the former striker, who since retiring from playing has held numerous EFL management roles, notably at Burton Albion and QPR.

Foden told BBC radio: “Jimmy’s been working hard with us to do penalties after training in case it goes to a shoot-out. They were just full of confidence and slotted them away. Jimmy’s got a lot of experience in the game, he knows his stuff. He’s been taking a few of us after training to practice penalties.

“I feel like when I first came into the England side, we were maybe practising them too much and there wasn’t really (a coach) taking them. Now we have Jimmy for that reason to only take a couple, not overdo it. Practice your spot where you put it and stick with it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it off the field."

It's not just his impact with penalties that Hasselbaink has earned the praise of the England stars, however. Luke Shaw, who has declared himself fit to start against the Netherlands on Wednesday evening if called upon, feels Hasselbaink's positive attitude around the group is hugely influential.

“He’s been bringing everything,” the left-back told Monday’s press conference in Blankenhain. “He’s been really good, really positive. He’s been doing stuff in training with the strikers, taking some of the training.

“I’m not going to go into too much detail on what he does, but we’re all really happy with Jimmy and he helps not just the strikers, but a lot of the lads and also has the advice from what he’s done in the game to pass on. He brings a lot of laughs, that’s just the way. He’s very confident. He likes a little bit of a joke and he brings the positive energy around the camp and makes people smile.”

Hasselbaink's next task is a potentially conflicting one because Southgate's side will be going up against the Netherlands - the country he grew up in and represented on the international stage 23 times. Trent Alexander Arnold is hoping his insight into the Dutch can prove useful for Boro.

“I am sure he will have input with the manager and with Steve (Holland) with the messages they give across to us but the knowledge he has will be useful," the Liverpool star said. “Of course, and anything we can use to help us win the game, we need to do.

“Obviously he was a top player when he was playing so he knows the game, he understands the game, he can relate to us as players. He knows the pressures and everything that comes with being a footballer and in tournament football too, so he is good to have around.

“He works a lot with the attacking players, more than anyone, helps us with the penalties and things so he is a great addition to the backroom staff.”