A good number of football pundits believe Gareth Southgate is not the right man to lead England to a major trophy; they say he has a problem closing out tight games.
Well, I disagree.
We all remember not so long ago when England went into the final of Euro 2020 against Italy. Oh! What joy it was that they qualified for the finals after 55 long years of trying. It was historic!
It was thus very devastating when Italy beat England in the penalty shoot-out to be crowned the champions.
The good thing is that the players remained positive with Harry Kane stating that they had their eyes on the World Cup in Qatar . As he reflected on the summer he had, he stated that he is even hungrier for World Cup success in 2022.
A look at the statistics for the World Cup Qualifiers show that England have started quite strongly. They were on course to maintaining a 100 percent win record in the qualifications but unfortunately surrendered this with a 1-1 draw to Poland in Warsaw on Wednesday night.
This result may be frustrating but I just think it is offers an even better opportunity for England to up their game. In this sense, Gareth Southgate has been provided with an opportunity to work on tactics, technicalities and optics
England have a very talented squad. In fact, with the introduction of Jack Grealish, we can’t help but have a lot of trust in the team. Not only has it boosted the confidence, it has also surprisingly shifted the system to a more entertaining 4-2-3-1.
More importantly, the exemplary teamwork among the players that Southgate has been able create has proved to be a real asset.
Southgate and his players should not mope too much over the result against Poland. Right now they should just be focused on maintaining the momentum that they have set.
The beauty of it is that the England Squad is still growing and they are still trying to mold themselves into the shape that best suits. Now is the opportune time for them to write history and go ahead and win the World Cup.
I will conclude by giving a word to Southgate. Do not focus on the losses of the recent past. I will even go as far as saying do not focus on the fact that people say that history always repeats itself.
Just believe in your players and focus on carving out a new path in history. England is on course to qualifying for Qatar 2022 and we can’t wait to see the performance the team will put up next year.
Football is all about showcasing sportsmanship, perseverance and bouncing back from challenges. England have this in spades.
What needs to be done now is to work on the loopholes that have been witnessed such as the failure to use any substitution in the match against Poland.
– The writer is an unapologetic England fan.
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