Wednesday 21st November 2018
Asif Mohammed – UCFB Business & Media Student
Before the World Cup in Russia this summer, the expectation for England in the competition wasn’t the greatest. However, since then, there’s been a completely different atmosphere. Claiming huge wins against Spain and Croatia recently, England look like a promising side once again. But how has this change come about? What caused the transition? Who deserves the appraise?
England’s record in international competitive games in the last decade hasn’t been one of the best, especially as they were considered favourites to win a major competition at one point. Before going into the World Cup earlier this year, there was a sense of uncertainty as to what England side will turn up. However, that was all put to bed as the Three Lions managed to reach the Semi Finals. Many fans and critics alike noticed a change in the England approach to internal games, especially after their recent wins against former World Champions Spain and World Cup runners up Croatia.
One major change noticed is the resurgence of youth being implemented by England manager, Gareth Southgate. Young, developing players like Jadon Sancho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell are being given more opportunity, an aspect past managers have overlooked. Utilising a young, energetic, and adaptable team was the first acclaim of success for England.
The manager himself is also a huge factor. Southgate put a lot of pressure on himself when he was first appointed in 2016, as many people expected him to recreate the success he had with the England under 21s. Although he didn’t win a major trophy, he has exceeded expectations with a healthy win ratio as the Three Lions boss.
The type of football Southgate has issued is also an instrumental aspect to England’s consistent performances. Going for a more modern approach and disbanding the traditional 4-4-2 formation was key to keeping everyone happy. The style of free-flowing play as well as compact defending has insured the England team are on route to an effective transitional period.
These factors have also elevated a high sense of spirit within the England camp and their fans. The use of youth, appointment of Southgate and style of football has given England a new lease of life, with expectations gradually rising with performance.