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Three reasons behind England's resurgence under Gareth Southgate

Ever since Southgate came onto the scenes for England, they look a different side altogether. Three factors behind this great resurgence!

Last updated: 30.03.2019
Gareth Southgate | Sports Social Blog

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England have started their Euro 2020 qualification campaign on a high by getting the better of the Czech Republic and Montenegro. They won the two matches 5-0 and 5-1 respectively. It is the first time in its history that England has scored five or more goals in back-to-back games in the qualifications round for any major tournament. They did also beat Spain and Croatia in last year's UEFA Nations League, a feat that tells a lot in itself. They also finished fourth in the FIFA World Cup 2018. All of the above and more have come under Gareth Southgate. He was appointed in the summer of 2016. He has been an experienced international for England himself with a total of 57 caps for the side. But it is his managerial career that has managed to overshadow everything.

In our round-up to the qualification stages of the Euro 2020, here are the top three factors behind England's resurgence under Gareth Southgate:


1. Flexibility in his tactics: In FIFA World Cup 2018, England struck to a 3-5-2 formation with Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli playing as central midfielders. They depended more on their wingbacks Kieran Trippier and Ashley Young to provide the much-needed width to the team. But both Alli and Lingard are not orthodox box-to-box midfielders and failed to keep the ball rolling from defence to attack. After the World Cup, he moved a more convincing 4-3-3 formation with wingers like Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi to provide width to the squad. He has also moved to a four-man backline which is more defensively solid against big teams. They now have a box-to-box midfielder in Ross Barkley who has already scored twice in last two games. Southgate is certainly flexible in his tactics and knows what's best for the side.

2. No shortage of goal scorers: There is certainly no shortage of the goalscoring options for the English side. There are a number of players who have been scoring regularly for their club week-in-week-out. Kane won the Golden Boot in last year's World Cup and scored in both the games this year too. Raheem Sterling himself had a hat trick against the Czechs and a beautiful assist to Kane in the Montenegro game. Barkley is finding the back of the net too. Jason Sancho is the leading assist provider in Europe's top five leagues, on level with Messi in this respect. They also have players like Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard who are having an impressive year of their own. They won 3-2 away against Spain while also beating Croatia 2-1 at home in the UEFA Nations League last year. They are certainly scoring goals for fun.

3. A large pool of young guns: Callum Hudson-Odoi has made his debut at 18. Ben Chilwell, Michael Keane and Jadon Sancho have also played in the last couple of matches. Harry Maguire and Jordan Pickford were the pick of the lot in the last year's World Cup. Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier and Eric Duer are well short of 30. In fact, their average age comes more close to 20 rather than 30. England have invested much its youth and this is surely the way to go as they are more hungry for success. They do not take their foot off the pedal and keep on going until the whistle blows for 90 minutes.

England certainly has one of the best squads in the world at the moment. But will they be able to replicate this in something meaningful?

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