- Jul 7, 2003
You cannot talk about England's relative success or failure without looking at the external factors, i.e. the relative strength or weakness of the other international sides out there.So he's no different to previous managers? Previous managers who have had a bigger pool of players to choose from. In that case criticise him for tactical inability but not his results.
Same as it ever was then. Hence the tired refrain of England will go out to the first half decent team they face.
I don't dispute, and never have, the claim that Southgate isn't tactically very good or that he shouldn't be criticised. I merely point out, every time people churn out the same old shit about him, that he cannot be criticised for his results seeing as they are better than any England manager other than Alf Ramsey's.
Yes. We've never had good players before and we've never had easy draws. Of course they're only easy until we lose then we lose to the first half decent team we've faced. Although if we beat said team it's because said team is shit.
The fact remains that he is our second most successful manager in our history. Shit as he may be that is fact and if he is as shit as most people think that is a more damning indictment of all previous managers than it is of him.
We've talked about how Italy are a pale shadow of the European powerhouse they used to be - 4 times World Cup winners, twice European Champions. Germany are team we struggled to beat after 1966 yet we're now on our longest unbeaten run against them since we lifted the World Cup.
Brazil were a byword for flair and entertainment, yet they've lost their last 2 to Colombia and Uruguay and only drew against Venezuela before that. They are 5th in the qualifying table.
Meanwhile, the riches of the Premier League have helped improve the standard of facilities, coaches and - ultimately - the English players. They play with and against the best in the world every week, so they fear no one. Bellingham, Saka, Foden, Rice are truly gifted young players, but look at some of those who have been in the Southgate system for some years, i.e. Rashford, Sterling, Grealish, and they're nothing like they used to be considering they're at an age when they should be in their prime.
This SHOULD be our time. England should be exciting to watch, fun to watch. This turgid dross is unforgiveable.