England it will take time to recover from his defeat from the penalty spot to Italy u Euro 2020 finals, but the countdown to the 2022 World Cup has already begun. 499 days will pass between the end of Euro 2020 and the opening match of the next World Cup in Qatar, and the turnaround is tight.
For England, the long arduous wait for international success continues after Italy’s triumph at Wembley. It’s been 55 years and counts from the last – and only – big trophy raised by the English captain, when Bobby Moore held the 1966 World Cup rise, so what else is 18 months if Euro 2020 proves to be the catalyst of glory in Qatar?
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If England needs proof that seemingly endless waits can have a happy ending, they just need to watch Lionel Messireaction to the final conquest of the international trophy with Argentina, WHO they ended a 28-year drought at the Copa America with 1-0 win on Saturday in the final against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Good times and fame can be enjoyed even by those teams that look like they are stuck in a constant cycle of close misses. Yes, even England.
But immediately after Sunday’s defeat by Italy, the emotions at camp in England will be raw. There will be a tendency, inside and out, to turn to the extremes and either sense the promise of young talent in the country or complain about years of failure to cross the border and win like Italy, Germany,, France i Spain they have done it many times since England last achieved anything significant.
England manager Gareth Southgate has already said he needs time to digest the disappointment of the Euro 2020 final and perform a calibration, mentally and physically, after taking his team so close to winning the tournament. He says his instinct is to continue managing until Qatar, but nevertheless left enough doubt to hang in the air to suggest that he had yet to be fully convinced that it was right.
But despite being so close to winning Euro 2020, England and Southgate have to smooth over the shortcomings exposed in the tournament. The team and manager eventually shattered the desperate nation into a frenzied belief by reaching the finals, but let’s not forget that it was the same team and manager who were scouted in the end draw 0-0 against Scotland in the group stage just three weeks ago. No international team is thriving and failing just like England, leading to a lack of focus and oversight of the positive and negative sides, and emotions are too often allowed to both judge and analyze. One of Southgate’s strengths is his ability to walk a smooth path between cheering and condemnation, but his cautious, deliberate approach has also proven to be a weakness and something that may be holding back the team.
If England want to go all the way to Qatar, Southgate must throw out that caution and show more confidence in attacking players who were underused during Euro 2020. Marcus Rashford (84 minutes) and Jadon Sancho (97) both got less than 100 minutes on the field during seven England games Phil Foden (159) i Jack Grealish (172) have also been used sporadically. When asked why he waited so long to introduce Rashford and Sancho from the bench for the deputies against Italy – the pair had less than two minutes on the field before taking and missing a penalty shootout – Southgate spoke of the need to “have the right balance” and insisted: “You can lose the game with the wrong balance. ”Southgate is right, but his answer to that question summarized his personality and tactical approach. Some coaches – Manchester Cityare Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp or Liverpool, Italian Roberto Mancini – will stumble upon bold changes designed to win, while others, like AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho and Southgate, will find it too risky and play it safe.
Expecting Southgate to go against his natural instincts and become a more adventurous coach may be unlikely, but England have an abundance of offensive talents and is a waste of that ability to constantly play with the handbrake on. And between now and Qatar in 2022, those attacking wealth are likely to grow. Harry Kane will be 29 years old by the time the World Cup comes Raheem Sterling and Grealish will be 27. Rashford (25), Sancho (22) and Foden (22) will continue to approach the peak, while Saka will be 21 with one tournament campaign already under his belt. Manchester United‘s Mason Greenwood, who missed this tournament due to injury, will also be 21 years old and almost certainly regular for the club and the state until we get to Qatar.
Southgate have a whole host of offensive talents that England can provide, but they have to find a way to get more out of it. During Euro 2020, while England were unbeaten in seven games in real time, they really lost and impressed a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals against Ukraine. The other games were tense things with low points, which could go in any direction, so it would be wrong to assume that England is free to watch.
The foundations, however, are for this to happen in Qatar if Southgate are willing to change their approach and play in line with their team’s strengths. In the midfield, Jude Bellingham will probably be a starter until Qatar arrives and Borussia Dortmund the offspring will add momentum and penetration to the team. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold will also return to the equation after missing Euro 2020 with an injury and Tottenham Hotspur‘s Dele Alli can rediscover his best form and become a regular England player again. Jordan Henderson,, Kyle Walker i Kieran Trippier who will all be 32 when the World Cup starts, perhaps the only players to have been knocked out of the team before the World Cup, so the Southgate team will surely benefit from another 18 months of experience and development.
The elements for building England are in Qatar to create the team that won the World Cup, but now it all depends on the man accused of putting it all together. Southgate have taken England to a new level since taking over in 2016 and progress has clearly been made, but if he does not change his own approach, he is in danger of keeping the team. You need to be braver and braver, otherwise the cycle of failure will continue.