A pragmatic manager doubted by fans? They often win the World Cup
28-Sep-2022 11:40:11 | The Guardian
Gareth Southgate is facing questions in England but conservative teams tend to do well at tournaments
By Chris Evans for The Set Pieces
Six games, no wins and just two goals from open play: England’s form in the Nations League does not make pretty reading, especially in a World Cup year. With each disappointing performance, more focus has turned on manager Gareth Southgate. It’s possible to create a bingo sheet from the criticisms of the England manager, accusing him of being unable to manage the talents at his disposal, being too ponderous during matches and relying too heavily on certain players. Oh, not to forget the pièce de résistance: Southgate’s conservatism.
While it’s fair to criticise the team for a lack of creativity this year, pragmatism is not such a bad approach in international football. In fact, a look back at major tournaments in recent decades suggests it might even be a strength. It might be at odds with the free-flowing, attacking teams that regularly hoover up silverware in the club game, but winning a World Cup is a different thing entirely. Continue reading...Read More