Friday, July 12, 2024

Southgate will ´not outstay welcome´ as he again defends England selection

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 Jun 2022

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Gareth Southgate says he “will not outstay” his welcome as England manager as he once again hit back at criticism over his team selections.

England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, the final four of the Nations League in 2019 and were runners-up at last year’s Euro 2020.

Yet despite that, there have been continued calls for Southgate to adopt a more attacking approach by fielding the likes of Jack Grealish and Trent Alexander-Arnold more often.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Nations League clash with Italy at a behind-closed-doors Molineux, however, Southgate refuted the idea that he is not gung-ho enough. 

“I’ve got to find a balance because I don’t want to sit and be defensive, but some people have managed teams and others haven’t,” he said. 

“Until you’ve managed teams, you have a different view of the game. 

“What’s needed to win football matches are the sorts of things [Mason] Mount did on [Joshua] Kimmich that allows other things to happen. 

“For the man that comes and stands on the terrace and pays his money, I totally understand he wants to see a Grealish with a [Raheem] Sterling with a [Bukayo] Saka. 

“But you’ve got to have a balance of the team, this is top-level football.”

Southgate was appointed permanent England boss in November 2016 and signed a new deal seven months ago that runs through until the end of 2024.

“I’ve got to manage in the way I see fit. I won’t outstay my welcome but I think I can do a good job for the team, and I think we’ve done a good job for the team,” he added. 

“I think we’ll continue to improve the team, which we’ve done over a consistent period of time, and we’re also developing young players that will leave England in a good place.”

England followed up a 1-0 loss to Hungary with a 1-1 draw away at Germany in their opening two Nations League matches.

Only once before, between July and September 2018, have the Three Lions failed to win three in a row under Southgate.

Asked why he felt the need to bring up his future, Southgate said: “If you look back, I’ve always said it. 

“I am not going to be here forever, am I? There will be another England manager… that’s how I have always felt about it. 

“The major part of that is how the players are. Do I still feel the players give everything and respond to what we do? Yes, I do.”

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