VIDEO: Happy birthday for Henri
Tuesday, 12 October, 2010
Midfield man reflects on one of his better birthdays.
By Nicholas Veevers
Click here to see the video interview.
England midfielder Henri Lansbury has two reasons to celebrate this evening, as not only did he play his part in helping the Young Lions secure a spot in the Finals of the European Under-21 Championships but it’s also his 20th birthday.
The Arsenal schemer was introduced in the second half of the game in Botosani as England faced a barrage of pressure from hosts Romania, who knew a 1-0 victory would be enough to see them progress following last Friday’s first leg in Norwich.
Some brave defending at the back and clever use of the ball from Lansbury further up the pitch kept them at bay though and now Stuart Pearce’s squad can look forward to the Finals in Denmark next summer, the third time in succession that England have qualified for the final stages of this notoriously difficult competition.
"I think that was one of my better birthdays,” revealed Lansbury to TheFA.com
“The lads have done well in the last couple of games and came here and we showed we can grind out a result.
"We have a great bunch of players here and, as we showed on the pitch, we do everything together. We're really happy to go through."
It wasn’t an easy game to contend with for any of the England players either, with a jumpy pitch and the use of the infamous Jubulani football which caused much consternation during the World Cup earlier this year. And with a partisan crowd backing the home team, England had to show their worth at the back as Romania chased the all-important goal that they needed.
"The pitch was a bit sticky and the balls were like beach balls,” admitted Lansbury. “Frankie (Fielding) kept us in the game a few times and the defenders defended really well, but it was hard when the crowd got on their side.
"It was a hard game to come into, it was hot, but in the end we got what we needed and we're through.”