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Southgate hits back at critics ahead of Italy tie

England boss Gareth Southgate hits back at critics ahead of UEFA Nations League clash vs Italy

June 11, 2022 By Ali M.
The Three Lions boss has disputed the claims that he is too negative and conservative.

Despite leading England to a FIFA World Cup semifinal in 2018 and a Euro 2020 final, Gareth Southgate continues to find himself at the center of criticism, and for understandable reasons.

The Three Lions boast one of the most blessed squads in international football, with some fans going as far as labelling this team as their golden generation. However, the European giants are yet to hit their heights, continuing the theme of their Euro 2020 campaign.

Despite boasting impressive goalscorers in Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, and more recently Tammy Abraham, England struggle to break down the bigger oppositions. Despite boasting some of the greatest young talents in world football, including Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, and Mason Mount, the Three Lions are yet to wow fans with their displays.

However, the manager has now hit back at the many criticisms he faces. The gaffer argued that while there are several brilliant players at his disposal, the role of the manager is to find balance, hence not every superstar can get on the pitch.

"I won't outstay my welcome," Southgate fired back, as quoted by the Sun.

"I am always going to have situations where people are going to disagree with the selection."

Gareth later added: "That noise over the last two or three years does seem extremely loud and I have had to ride that and get on with it through the Euros and the whole of last summer.

"I can see that's where it is again. That's what I have got to deal with. Lots of other international managers have the same.

"I'm sure the manager of Brazil has the same. I know the manager of France does and he has won more than I have. So that is the landscape.

"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.

"Until you've managed teams, you have a different view of the game."

Southgate then went on to address one of the biggest criticisms laid at his feet: his conservatism. The Three Lions boss is seen as a tactician who would rather play it safe, fielding three at the back with two wingbacks and two defensive midfielders. However, the former Middlesbrough boss argued that there is a different side to this tale.

"I hear about conservatism — but we were the highest scorers in Europe last year.  I don't quite know what more you can do.

"It is not nice when you are on the receiving end. You file it, you use it to motivate yourself, and you totally understand it is part and parcel of being a manager.

"But I can't be swayed by popular opinion, or I would pick 15 players for each game and have 28 players in each squad.

"That is the hard part — to pick every player you talk about. You have to leave other players out."

Regardless of all these statements, Kane and Co. must return to winning ways and they must do it immediately. The Euro 2020 runners-up are preparing to face Italy, the nation who beat them in the European Championship final last summer. With England sitting dead bottom in their UEFA Nations League group, the hosts cannot afford a slip-up against the Azzurri and must win against Mancini's side at all cost.


Match details, result and original broadcast info

England 0 - 0 Italy

June 11, 2022 2:45pmMolineux Stadium (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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