National Football is a strange beast. It’s not as competitive as the Champions League or Premier League. And you don’t have any control over what players you have. Managers are stuck with whoever happens to be born in their country about 20 or 30 years ago. So essentially, there is a lot of luck in National Football. One of the luckiest managers in World Football right now has got to be Gareth Southgate. He’s had the best England side since 2006 and has the choice of so many Premier League starters that it’d almost be impossible for him to pick a bad 11. Chiellini himself said before the final that England’s bench would have got to the finals, and that’s probably true. So in order for football to come home successfully, we don’t need to improve our players. We need to improve our Manager. While getting to the final is a fantastic accomplishment for Southgate, at times, he really looked like a Championship Manager. So here are five things we hope he improves on for the World Cup.
1) Make use of Substitutes more.
Due to new rules in the Euros, a team could make a maximum of 5 subs during the normal time and an extra sub in extra time. Southgate just made two subs in the 90 minutes, while Italy used up 4. So Mancini was able to alter his tactics to improve his teams’ chances of scoring, which of course, happened. With a bench as strong as the first 11, there’s no excuse for Southgate not mixing up play more and mixing things up to prevent Italy from getting a rhythm. So use your subs, Gareth!
2) Don’t play for Penalties.
If you are going to play for anything, Check out casino promotions on casinobee.com! But for football this tactic never really works out for the club trying to hold on unless that team is managed by Jose Mourinho. The better the team, the more likely this tactic will fail because the players aren’t used to playing like this. Do you think Pep over at City teaches his players how to sit back for 90 minutes and park the bus? It’s actually safer to let the players play their natural game and not resort to Championship level tactics that Southgate seems used to.
3) If you do play for penalties, do it properly.
If Southgate’s plan was to get to penalties, then I suppose it worked. Maybe England getting to Penalties was the best chance we had at beating them. But after getting to penalties, how could Southgate ruin it so badly? He made two subs in the last minute who both missed their penalties, and he put the final penalty on the shoulder of 19-year-old Saka, who missed. Southgate basically sold his players down the river and sabotaged their chances of playing well. Noone can come off the bench and, with the first kick, take a penalty at 100% of their abilities.
4) Don’t be afraid to rest Harry Kane.
This isn’t a problem just for England, but for all major clubs with Superstars. Harry Kane is the leading scorer in the Premier League, and any attempt to rest him is met by anger from fans and the press alike. But Harry Kane doesn’t need to play every single of every single game. Especially in Cup competitions with so little time between games. Maybe take him off for the last 30 if England is winning, or even save him until halftime if he’s just played extra time. All players play better when rested, and so a well-rested in-form Harry Kane would be something quite formidable.
5) Stop using the phrase “impact sub” to cover your poor team selection.
Let me dispel a myth. There’s no such thing as an impact sub. There are good players and bad players. Jackie Grealish is a good player, and the reason he came of the bench and players so well is that he’s a good player. So give him the full 90 minutes to help the team, rather than 20 minutes. You can admit you made a mistake rather than insulting the player you bring on by calling him an Impact Sub. I’m sure Messi would give a cracking 20 minutes if you made him an impact sub, but what a waste of talent that would be! This doesn’t just apply to Jack Grealish; it could apply to any decent player you leave out of the 11 but ends up saving the day.