Thursday 18th October 2018
Tom Hardy – UCFB Sports Business & Media student 2018
Becoming the first team to win in Spain since 2003, Southgate’s young lions roared to a fine victory on Monday in Seville. Starting a team with only one player over the age of 25, England’s young guns gave a historic performance which will give huge confidence and belief to both themselves and supporters back home. Led by skipper Harry Kane, England gave a first-half masterclass in counter-attacking clinical football and eventually ran out 3-2 winners in Spain. A further positive for Southgate would undoubtedly be the return to form of Raheem Sterling who scored for the first time in 27 internationals, silencing critics as he look to get into headlines for the right reasons.
Gareth Southgate’s policy of youth has been acclaimed by many with youngsters such as Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount the latest two players to make the step up to senior level. England’s youth teams have benefitted greatly from the project of their £105million home at St George’s Park with World Cup winners at u-17 and u-20 level. The international break has now seen an unbeaten October for England’s mens teams from u-17s to senior level, winning ten and drawing three.
Due to the teams success in this summers World Cup, Southgate now has the licence to experiment without the ever watchful eye of the British press bearing a heavy weight upon him. He can now often be seen to change formation going from a 5 at the back in last month’s loss to Spain to a 4 which saw them run out 3-2 winners this time around. To compliment his World Cup exploits perhaps the most impressive accomplishment in Southgate’s reign, which has seen him recently rewarded with a 3m a year deal, is the positive spirit he has employed within the England camp. With scenes of jubilation throughout the summer, Gareth will hope that his success continues throughout the UEFA Nations League tournament and beyond.