Gareth Southgate insists England won’t be ‘football snobs’ in bid for Euro 2020 glory as boss opens door for Three Lions to play route one football in pursuit of first tournament success since 1966 World Cup
Gareth Southgate insists England cannot afford to be ‘football snobs’ during their tilt at Euros glory — effectively giving his team a licence to play route one football.
The Three Lions boss is adamant his team should not be afraid to play a more direct game during the tournament as England aim to win their first major piece of silverware since 1966.
Southgate has focused on a possession-based philosophy during his spell in charge of the national team — but speaking after Sunday’s win over Croatia, he said: ‘There are moments to go longer, we’ve got a centre forward (Harry Kane) who wins more than his fair share of the ball.
Gareth Southgate insists England cannot afford to be ‘football snobs’ in bid for Euros glory
‘We shouldn’t be football snobs. It’s great to play out from the back and get to the halfway line in control of the ball.
‘However, it’s just as effective to go straight to the centre forward, be in control of the ball and be able to play from there.
‘The variety is important against top opposition.’
Southgate also played down an apparent on-field argument between John Stones and Jordan Pickford regarding the goalkeeper’s decision to kick it long.
The Three Lions boss insists Harry Kane’s aerial ability gives them direct option going forward
‘I think they were just deciding.
‘It depends on how the opposition press and there were times where it was on (to go long),’ said Southgate.
‘We don’t have as long to work on those patterns when you are playing from goal-kicks as you do at a club.
‘Those guys are able to make those decisions. There was a little spell where we went long and we talked about that at half-time. We didn’t want to do it every time.’
Southgate says England won’t be afraid to play the ball long as they look to go all the way
Raheem Sterling will wait until after the Euros to clear up his Manchester City future.
The Premier League champions are willing to offer the England winger an extension to his £300,000-a-week deal — which has two years left to run — but they are also open to a sale if talks break down.