Russell is on England’s staff at the World Cup to work specifically with the forwards after being inspired by coaching methods in the US
Glance along the second row of suited England players and staff on their official World Cup squad photograph and the focus is drawn to an unfamiliar face at the end of the line. Allan Russell, once a journeyman striker at clubs from St Mirren to Macclesfield, stands next to Nick Pope and behind Trent Alexander-Arnold, a Scot with the Three Lions badge on his breast pocket.
England’s travelling party to Russia is 58 strong, but it is a measure of the esteem in which Gareth Southgate holds the 37-year-old that he joins the assistant manager, Steve Holland, and the goalkeeping coach, Martyn Margetson, in making the cut for the team picture. Russell is a specialist attacking coach, the self-styled “superior striker”, who has been involved in the set-up for around a year having previously focused his efforts on individual forwards up and down the leagues, or with clubs on an ad-hoc basis. Those included Chelsea, who had Holland on their staff at the time.