Gareth Southgate has exceeded all expectations since his appointment as the temporary manager of the England national team and he has now been linked with the role on a permanent basis.
It is easy to argue against the Southgate appointment – his lack of managerial credentials doesn’t justify giving him such an important role and he isn’t the big name that supporters want. However, his familiarity with the Football Association gives him a better opportunity to work his magic from the inside and England’s key personalities appear to have bought into his system and style.
At the time of writing, bet365 customers can back the Three Lions at 16/1 to win the World Cup in 2018 in the international football betting markets. With the likes of Dele Alli, John Stones and Luke Shaw coming through the ranks, England have plenty of young talent and a major title could be on the cards in the not-so-distant future.
Wayne Rooney has enjoyed a long, successful international career but it is now time for the Three Lions to focus on giving the younger stars a chance to shine on the big stage. Southgate needs to show that he is willing to offer a new dimension at the helm; and he has certainly done that during his brief England career.
Realistically, this England side aren’t good enough to win the World Cup right now – let’s not forget that the star-studded Three Lions outfit were knocked out of the Euros by a pretty mediocre Iceland unit just five months ago. Supporters will always get ahead of themselves but the national side will struggle until there is a complete change in mindset at the top level. Footballers prioritise the club game in England; and that won’t change until the FA take drastic action to reignite interest in the national side.
Players are motivated by the financial lure of club football and it will take a major shift and effort at the top in order to get these big-name stars “playing for the shirt” again. In years gone by, playing for England was seen as an honour but for many it is now viewed as a burden.
On paper, there’s no reason why England cannot challenge for silverware in Russia or at Euro 2020. They have underachieved since winning the World Cup back in 1966 and it is about time for the Three Lions to get back to the summit of international football.
Gareth Southgate isn’t a big name, nor is he overqualified for the position, but his pragmatic approach to management could make all the difference as England look to compete for honours in the near future.