The classy five-word message sent by Newcastle owner to Magpies players after England win over birth country
Mehrdad Ghodoussi ad his alleigances split as England took on his birth country of Iran in their first match of the World Cup.
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Newcastle United co-owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi sent a classy message of congratulations to the two England stars who played against his birth country of Iran in the World Cup on Monday.
Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier played the full 90 minutes - and more in a game disrupted by injuries - whilst Magpies talisman Callum Wilson was brought on in the second half as Gareth Southgate's men trounced Iran 6-2.
It was a confident performance from the England squad, who were unlucky not to net seven after a foul on Harry Maguire in the Iran penalty box went undetected by VAR. Two second-half goals by Iran forward Mehdi Taremi also added a sore point for Southgate's side, who will nonetheless be pleased with their emphatic start to life in Qatar.
Ghodoussi, who was part of the big-money Newcastle United takeover in October 2021, took to social media after the game to congratulate the Magpies men involved for England. Ghodoussi, who is married to Amanda Staveley, was born in Iran before moving to England at the age of 8.
On Twitter, he said: "Well done boys, great performance @trippier2 @CallumWilson, shout out to #iran for fighting till the end. #ItsComingHome #FIFAWorldCup #Qatar2022."
The third Newcastle United player in the England squad, Nick Pope, was an unused substitute on the bench as Everton keeper Jordan Pickford got the nod in between the sticks.
Speaking after the match, Gareth Southgate told BBC Sport: "It's a great start but we're going to have to be better. To win by that margin - to play as we did for the majority of the game - we've got to be really happy. That's a great marker to put down. But we shouldn't be conceding two goals at that stage of the match and we'll have to be right on our game against the States.
"We had, I think, 24 minutes of added time across the game, so it's a long time to focus - but we just lost concentration and when we play at a slower tempo, we're nowhere near as effective. I'm a miserable so-and-so and I should be more excited, but I've got to keep the team on the right track and we will have to be better."
The game was, of course, shrouded in controversy before kick-off after a last-minute backtrack from the FA over the wearing of a OneLove captain's armband.
In a last-minute u-turn, the FA scrapped plans to support the LGBTQ+ community, citing their reasoning as FIFA’s threat to replace fines with yellow and red cards for players - although this had always been a possibility.
Working as a pundit for the BBC ahead of England's meeting with Iran, Alan Shearer wasted no time in confronting the issue. In a seven-word verdict, Shearer said: "It would have been a huge statement."
He also added: "I don't think it's fair on the players having to deal with this on the morning of the game. They've done incredible work off the pitch, a lot of the England players and manager, including during the pandemic.
"The FA knew it was in the rule book that they weren't allowed to wear the armband. It's not fair on the players having to deal with this before one of the biggest games they will ever play, the morning of a World Cup game. All the players should be thinking about now is how they are going to win this game."