By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
  1. David Bolt

    David Bolt Member

    May 30, 2008
    Liverpool
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Wales

    Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

    By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
    [​IMG]

    Two years ago, the England team lost to Iceland in the first knockout stage of EURO 2016. That loss may well be the lowest point in terms of how the England team was viewed by the public here in England.

    While losing to a much-lower ranked nation with just a fraction of the population was embarrassing enough, it was the behaviour of the team that really stuck in the throat. The way the team behaved during that loss represented the England team at their absolute worst.

    That was an England team that suffered from arrogance, complacency and a huge sense of entitlement. You had Joe Hart mistaking loudness for leadership, then making a big mistake that made him look an even bigger idiot. You had many members of the England team apparently talking throughout the game about how much they’d have to step it up in the quarter-finals, despite being behind at the time.

    But now, there’s a much different feel to the England team. The hubris has been replaced by a quieter sense of self-confidence. The expectations are lowered to a more realistic level. The complacency has gone. And as a result, the team is becoming likeable.

    It would be wrong to say this has happened by design. Following the Iceland defeat, Roy Hodgson was replaced by Sam Allardyce, a man who owes his entire career to arrogance, self-promotion and bluster. Had he not been caught offering to show some undercover reporters ways to get around the rules about third-party ownership in player transfers, his England team would likely have been every bit as unlikeable as the ones before, if not more so.

    But Allardyce’s downfall has turned out to be good for England. After Allardyce, England appointed Gareth Southgate, then the manager of their Under-21 team, initially on a caretaker basis that turned into a permanent appointment.

    Southgate’s first comments showed exactly the type of manager he was going to be. Rather than making bold statements and promising the earth, he instead talked about developing a team that people would enjoy watching.

    And, that’s what he’s done. One of the things that Southgate has achieved, that many England managers before him have tried and failed to do, is to establish a clear pathway between the England u21 and senior teams.

    Southgate is the first manager England have had that has managed one of the junior England teams. So he has faith in the players he managed at u21 level and has not been afraid to promote them into the senior team. Jordan Pickford, likely to be England’s first-choice goalkeeper and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have made the jump from the u21’s to the World Cup squad and there have been plenty of other young players selected for England during Southgate’s time in charge.

    England’s younger age teams have had some great success in recent years, so those players will be encouraged to see a manager who isn’t afraid to pick a younger player. Southgate’s stopped the trend for picking players on reputation alone, instead he’s picking players on form.

    Southgate has also changed the way England play. He encourages England to have the confidence to play from the back, something which is viewed with mistrust by most in England. Southgate’s commitment to playing this way was evidenced by his omission of established defender Chris Smalling over fears over his ability on the ball.

    He’s also changed the way England line up. People in England fixate on formations, mostly because that’s where their understanding of tactics begins and ends, but Southgate has moved away from a back four, which is an English staple, in favour of a back five.

    The beauty of this is that it simultaneously covers England’s lack of a dominant centre back and utilises England’s strength of having good attacking full-backs. Add to that England having two players in Jesse Lingard and Deli Alli that can operate between the opposition defence and midfield and all of a sudden England have gone from being a team playing rigidly to one playing in a fluent way that can create favourable passing angles and matchups.

    Southgate has also managed to find a way to benefit from England’s lack of depth. When he named the squad there wasn’t really any surprises in terms of players left out that would have been expected to have been included. This, isn’t a bad England squad at all, but Southgate has had fewer players that pick themselves than other England managers have previously had.

    But because of that, Southgate has managed to turn that into an opportunity. Whereas England managers have previously had to try and find ways to shoehorn players into their team e.g Fabio Capello having to accommodate the incompatible Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson having to move Wayne Rooney to allow Raheem Sterling into the team, Southgate doesn’t have to worry about that, he’ll feel free to be able to pick the team that he thinks gives England the best chance to win.

    Pre-tournament expectations here in England are unusually low. Most fans have a realistic view of this England team, that I think will get out of their group but then fall in the knockouts (my pre-tournament bracket has England losing to Germany in the quarter finals, though Mexico may have just changed that). And, unusually, most England fans think the same and are okay with that.

    Similarly, the English media is giving Southgate and his team a much easier ride than other teams have had. Again that is down to Southgate. He’s doing what he said he would. He’s put together an England team that people can see is a work in progress that may pay off further down the line.

    Also, the media seems to respect that Southgate hasn’t been the FA stooge that people thought he may be. He has a quiet, measured way of speaking that doesn’t seek to make friends or make headlines.

    It may be way too early to praise England. Southgate still hasn’t managed in a tournament. England haven’t won in the World Cup since they beat Slovenia in 2010.

    I’m certainly no England fan; but I don’t hate this England team. If they make the quarter-finals, they will have equalled the performance of teams that were in a far better place to have achieved more. And, they’ll have done so without the toxicity of those teams. In doing that, Gareth Southgate may have achieved the impossible, he may have made one of the most unlikeable teams in the world likeable.
     

Comments

Discussion in 'World Cup 2018 - Russia' started by David Bolt, Jun 17, 2018.

    1. roverman

      roverman Member

      Dec 22, 2001

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Nob
       
    2. Romka 18

      Romka 18 Member

      Liverpool FC
      England
      Oct 26, 2017

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      "he may have made one of the most unlikeable teams in the world likeable."

      Only if they play decent football, not the usual one ,two pass ,give the ball away, and only if they can kill off the game when going one up, score a few more instead of bottling it and sitting deep waiting for opposition to score.
      It's time for the lions to roar , play like a team, not run around like headless chickens without a game plan.

      A kane hat-trick tonight will win over many neutrals .
       
    3. Wolves1889

      Wolves1889 Member

      Mar 13, 2016
      Club:
      Wolverhampton Wanderers

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      I think England would have fåkked up against Tunisia a couple of years ago.
      I think England has had a real upgrade from the likes Hodgson and Allardyce with now having Southgate in place.

      I think England can go places this time,and Harry Kane seems keen enough.
      Key game might be Belgium.It is a match I think England will win.
       
    4. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      In doing what? What has Gareth Southgate done exactly that has made the England team likeable?

      England is the most scrutinized football team in the world. Nothing will change peoples OWN projecting opinions of the England national team. Their own fallacies and their own BS that's mostly made up in their own minds. Like this article.
       
    5. sinner78

      sinner78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Sheffield Wednesday
      England
      Nov 7, 2001

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Article supplied by a welshman . This guy is a clown . Typical of what you expect from this site.
       
    6. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Hahaha. All opinion pieces written on England by Welsh people should come with content warnings: 'Highly disingenuous'. Don't they know that by now? But yes, it's Bigsoccer, so it's expected.

      I wondered why the guy, tried to legitimize the article by saying “Here in England”.

      Hopefully the guy has let off some steam, because he's obviously tried. Years of psychological trauma and bestiality accusations based on nationality that goes along with actually LIKING the national team of the country that perpetrated them jokes, can lead to conflict in one’s mind.

      But the article has failed because we can see right through it. Like reading a CNN piece on Trump, or Fox News article on Obama.

      David, you obviously wrote this to make you feel better.

      So, here's a joke.

      An Englishman walks through the countryside when he sees a sheep with it's head stuck in a fence. He walks up the hill towards the sheep and see's a Welshman behind it with his trousers down. The welshman looks at the Englishman, pulls up his trousers and says "Your turn".

      So the Englishman sticks his head in the fence.

      There you go. Hopefully this has put a smile on your face. Because your article put a smile on mine. Bless your little woolen socks.
       
    7. sinner78

      sinner78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Sheffield Wednesday
      England
      Nov 7, 2001

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Bolt has us down to go out to Germany in the knockout phase

      good luck with that tip .
       
    8. sinner78

      sinner78 BigSoccer Supporter

      Sheffield Wednesday
      England
      Nov 7, 2001

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Look up his past stuff.
      The guy is an anti English welshman .
      Used to troll the England forum afew years back .
       
    9. Deep Wilcox

      Deep Wilcox BigSoccer Supporter

      Jun 5, 2007
      Club:
      Arsenal FC
      Nat'l Team:
      United States

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      So what are you guys saying? Fat Frank and Gerrard worked? Sam A never did get in trouble? England did'nt lose to Iceland in the Euro Cup in 2016?

      It isn't "anti-England" to point ou the rather obvious. England has been shit for decades. Now they are doing well in the World Cup. Something has changed. That makes for an interesting piece of journalism.
       
    10. Romka 18

      Romka 18 Member

      Liverpool FC
      England
      Oct 26, 2017

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      The thing is ,we aren't doing that well, first two games England was expected to win, vs Belgium, both teams rested players. If England had really improved they would have finished off Colombia , who in reality were weaker, similar to Brazil's game vs Mexico, Brazil weren't troubled much, but got the job done,clean cheat and game over,England still fail to close shop and beat teams .
      Now we are at the stage where there aren't weaker teams.
      England in the past struggled against Sweden, now is the time to show this change.The English leagues is one of the best ,hardest wo win in the world,with many top players,the English players need to play like they do for their clubs,first 20 mins vs Colombia was the high temp English game, this needs to be shown against Sweden and others, it's tie for the players to step up and put in a performance which will make the others teams worried,.
       
      Myshoe repped this.
    11. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      What has that got to do with the England team being "likeable"? After-all, that is what this "opinion piece" is all about.

      Iceland
      Qualified for Euro 2014 in group that included Czech Republic, Turkey, and Netherlands.
      *Beat Czech Republic 2-1,
      *Beat Turkey 3-0
      *Beat Netherlands home and away
      *Finished above Portugal (eventual winners) in Euro 2016 Tournament Group Stage
      *Beat England 2-1.
      *Won UEFA World Cup qualifying group that contained Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey
      *Drew with Argentina at World Cup 2018

      But they beat England, in a game were England had 63% possession, 18 total attempts to Icelands 8, Were England produced 525 passes to Icelands 243. Where England had 8 players who had a passing accuracy of 86% or higher and Iceland only had 2. Where Iceland committed 15 fouls to Englands 6. A game that was decided on a goalkeeping error by Joe Hart.

      So that means England are shit.



      England World Cup record:
      1954 - Quarterfinals (lost to Uruguay)
      1958 - Group Stage
      1962 - Quarterfinals (lost to Brazil)
      1966 - Champions
      1970 - Quarterfinals (lost to Germany AET)
      1982 - Quarterfinal Group Stage (Won: 3, Drawn: 2: Lost: 0)
      1986 - Quarterfinal (lost to Argentina)
      1990 - Semifinal (lost to Germany on pens)
      1998 - 2nd Round (lost to Argentina on pens)
      2002 - Quarterfinal (lost to Brazil)
      2006 - Quarterfinal (lost to Portugal on pens)
      2010 - Round of 16 (lost to Germany)
      2014 - Group Stage
      2018 - Quarterfinal versus Sweden

      England are were they mostly always are at World Cups…… in the Quarterfinals. The only thing that has changed is that they finally won a penalty shootout at a World Cup. Had that happened before then England would have been in the Final in 1990, the Quarterfinal of 1998, and Semi-Final in 2006..... But England have been shit for decades haven't they?
       
    12. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Starts with…..

      And finishes with….

      LOL
       
    13. Myshoe

      Myshoe Member

      May 25, 2010
      Club:
      --other--
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      I think Southgate's biggest achievement so far is losing to Belgium and lining us up on the easiest side of the ladder. For all of the talk about him getting us playing passing football from the back, the majority of our goals have been from either set pieces or penalties. Against Colombia I counted 2 decent chances created from open play (Kane header onto the roof of the net and Rose shot wide late on ET) in 120mins of football.

      We've conceded goals against Tunisia and Panama and handed Colombia a few chances late on when they were pressing. If Colombia hadn't given away that soft penalty away I think the chances are we'd already be on our way home.

      I am hoping for a much better and more convincing performance against Sweden, something like the first 20mins against Tunisia and then maybe I'll start believing.
       
      Ric_Braz and Romka 18 repped this.
    14. Thomsen

      Thomsen Member+

      Aug 6, 2016
      Club:
      FC Bayern München

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      I mean, I'm somehow glad that England for once somehow succeeds in a major tournament, however I haven't been really impressed by them... Easy group where they (in my opinion) got the advantage of playing Belgium when they'd already qualified. Then barely beat Colombia in a pen shootout because with the colombian player hitting the bar after Henderson's miss - lucky. Then Sweden. Yes Sweden... :rolleyes:

      I don't think England's been bad but nowhere I want them to become WC unless two convincing performances
      Right now I'd rather see France, Belgium or Croatia win rather than England
       
    15. BARC

      BARC New Member

      May 5, 2005
      Tallinn

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      But have Croatia been any better though? Aside from beating Argentina and getting all that credit for that, they had a game with Nigeria where they failed to create anything throughout the whole 90 minutes and two draws with rather average Denmark and Russia.

      England might have not shown what you would expect from the WC finalists/champions, but then again, they got the luck of the draw and did not have to, the Colombia game has been the only real disappointment so far. I could not see England beating Brazil the way Belgium did, but the semifinal and final, if it happens, will be the real test, if they win two of their next games, then they deserve it, as easy as that
       
    16. Ric_Braz

      Ric_Braz Member+

      May 13, 2009
      Wiltshire, UK.
      Club:
      AFC Wimbledon

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      He's stopped the rot but performances overall were nothing special and so often we still don't look comfortable on the ball. Kane was brilliant with penalties and is somewhat embarrassing that he could well win the golden boot. Sterling could not hit a barn door and to be fair to the midfield is there really anyone on a par with Platt, Robson, Gascoigne, Beardsley etc.?

      Our only scoring tactic was to lob it up to McGuire which is hardly a great advance. In the end we had a far better team ethic than in the last two WCs but that would not have been difficult.
       
    17. Iranian Monitor

      Iranian Monitor Member+

      Aug 18, 2004
      Tehran Iran
      #18 Iranian Monitor, Jul 14, 2018
      Last edited: Jul 14, 2018

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      While I don't want to take anything away from Southgate, who has done well lifting England from the lows it had descended in recent years in major tournaments, the truth is that England only beat teams it really should have defeated (Tunisia, Panama and Sweden). Otherwise, however, England didn't prove much despite their semifinal finish. Basically, the same way a golden boot for Kane would be very flattering given that half his goals were from the penalty spot and the fact that he didn't really shine in the important games England played, England was also somewhat flattered finishing 4th in this tournament given their overall record (3W-1D-3L) and their relatively easy path to the semifinal.
       
    18. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      It's interesting that people said that England would struggle to get out of the group.

      Then when they played Colombia (5th in FIFA World Rankings, team who beat France before World Cup) team who displayed the best football in their group. People said England would get beat.

      Then when they faced Sweden. Team who knocked Italy out of World Cup qualifiers, and thrashed Mexico 3-0, only narrowly beaten by Germany. People said England would get beat.

      Then when they finally get beat, people said it was an easy run in.
       
    19. HomietheClown

      HomietheClown Member+

      Dusselheim FC 1971
      Sep 4, 2010
      Club:
      --other--

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      To be fair the Colombian team that beat France was a lot more dynamic and healthier than the one that played England.

      England were very, very fortunate James was out, Fabra was out, Muriel did not start. And a player who did not play against France but is a good promising striker Borja was out.
       
    20. Pigs

      Pigs Member

      Mar 31, 2001
      Everywhere
      Club:
      Everton FC
      Nat'l Team:
      England
      #21 Pigs, Jul 15, 2018
      Last edited: Jul 15, 2018

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      Out of the 15 Colombian players used in both games (France and England), 13 of them were the same.

      The best Colombian player at the tournament, even when James played was Quintero. And the other key players for Colombia were Cuadrado and Falcao who also played.

      But hey, they miss one player and go from world beaters to "easy". Says a lot about Colombia as a national team doesn't it. Or rather, the critics of England.

      Meanwhile Sweden miss Ibrahimovic, someone they depended on FAR more than Colombia ever did with James. And perform the best in a tournament since 1994.
       
    21. Iranian Monitor

      Iranian Monitor Member+

      Aug 18, 2004
      Tehran Iran

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      The game against Colombia wasn't much of a football game, in large measure due to the way Colombia chose approach the match. They were more interested in throwing fits and getting under the skin of the English players and the referee than playing their game. Otherwise, even without James, I think Colombia could have played better than they did and it showed when they actually did choose to play in latter parts of regulation and overtime.

      All that aside, technically and properly, England-Colombia ended in a draw. While England won the penalty lottery to advance on the tie-breaker, it didn't win that match.
       
    22. HomietheClown

      HomietheClown Member+

      Dusselheim FC 1971
      Sep 4, 2010
      Club:
      --other--

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      The best Colombian player of the tournament was Quintero precicesly because James was not healthy. If James would have beeen healthy I think things would have been different.

      Fabra on the left side is far more experienced and fluid than Mojica and he was missed too.

      Borja did not even play against France, it was Duvan Zapata who by the way was injured and did not play in this tournament either.

      Colombia against England started three defensive types of midfielders which was a different philosophy and strategy than against France.

      As for Ibra...
      ... Swedem qualified without him and prepared to play without him for a couple of years. Colombia was shocked to see James not healthy going into the Japan game so it is apples and oranges.

      I will give England credit for finding a way to advance on penalties and doing what they had to do to make it into the quarters but to imply that the Colombian team was pretty much the same one that faced France is just fooling yourself.
       
    23. Iranian Monitor

      Iranian Monitor Member+

      Aug 18, 2004
      Tehran Iran
      #24 Iranian Monitor, Jul 15, 2018
      Last edited: Jul 15, 2018

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      The notion that England beating Tunisia and Panama, losing to Belgium, then beating Colombia on penalties, then beating Sweden, and then losing to Croatia and fail to make the final, would be regarded as a huge success is a bit strange to me. The best you can say about England in this tournament is that they finished par, beating the sides they were supposed to beat and losing to the sides which could have been rated above them.

      That is more than some past English squads in recent memory can say. But it isn't nearly the same as treating the tournament as some sort of an impossible mission accomplished by Southgate either. In fact, even England getting less flack (and being "more likable") was probably because their previous failures had both toned down some of their more pretentious media from getting under people's skin and also making some think England have suffered enough and deserve a bit of a break.

      To be sure, Southgate seems to be a well-mannered, likable, coach. Nothing pompous and arrogant about him. And he has done well enough for England -- better than some who talked more and did less. But he didn't do anything that was on its own all that remarkable. And I say this as someone who actually had rated Tunisia better than the naive and tactically clueless side they showed in this tournament and who wouldn't have been all that surprised if they had taken a point from England.
       
    24. Megabeast

      Megabeast Member

      Jun 6, 2014
      Club:
      Blackpool FC

      Has Gareth Southgate Achieved The Impossible With England?

      By David Bolt on Jun 17, 2018 at 1:07 PM
      I'm not seeing anyone here call what we did on the pitch a huge success. What we are hailing a success is how the country came together the way it did. I've been watching England since 96 and I have suffered through those years haha.

      I'm also interested to see people keep saying England didn't beat Colombia. Well, it sure felt like we lost in all those shootouts we failed. I didn't see anyone saying England didn't lose those times.
       

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