Although everyone has picked the likes of Germany, Spain, Brazil and Italy to make it into the last four of the World cup 2018, no one ever has thought of the fact that a team filled with “ Inexperienced” young talent like England would ever be able to match up to the same levels. Gareth Southgate and his young lads have not only made it to the semifinals of the World cup 2018, but impressed everyone with their high end football skills and unmatched talent in the process.
Additionally, England football team was without any “Big “names in their bunch to match the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar but they still did hunt in packs during their World cup campaign. So what’s that which has made this team revived from their past failures on the International levels? Let’s take a look at some of the key points in the same regards.
#Reason 1 Playing as an Underdog
No one did have any sort of expectations from a young and raw England squad which was coming along with players with lesser than 20 caps under their name. Whilst both the team management and coach did felt the brunt of their poor run in the World cup arena( which saw them winning a World cup knockout match way back in 2006), it was mostly been pushed forward that the team must be infused with new and energetic players on board.
Southgate did follow the same perspective and selected only five of the players from the squad which came as a failure in the World cup 2014 edition. This did come as a blessing in disguise for the English team as they came to the big stage with less pressure and mostly been termed as an “Underdog” by fans and football experts around. Well, it wasn’t only the fans or the experts, but FA technical director Dan Ashworth also, who shared the same view in regards to his team’s approach in the World cup 2018. Though England did win the U-17 and U-20 football world cups in 2017, Ashworth didn’t seem like giving England much of chance for the senior edition.
This worked well and team went on to make it to the semi finals while nailing down some of the more favorite teams in the process.
#Reason 2 England’s Vision led by Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate has proved to be that one man who has made England transformed into a “Hard working bunch” on the Football pitch. He is also that person who has believed in the vision of England football in the greater context and brought on board some of the youngest talent from the English premier league to play for the national team
Players like Rashford, Lingard, sterling and walker are some of the best examples of his latest recruitment in the national squad and him along with the English football have put their beliefs behind this young bunch. Moreover, it has been believed that players have drawn a, lot of motivation from Southgate’s “England DNA” which was launched in 2014 with a purpose to inspire England players about all the styles and techniques required to better their game to match up the levels of the other teams in the International arena.
#Reason 3 Better Players Coming on Board with Great Technical Skills
It was only after the coaching hours have been doubled at the youth levels in English football that better players have came on board towards the national duty. This was firstly been planned under the Elite player performance plan (EPPP) which initiated in 2014 and although it did cost some good money to the EPL, it has left some huge impact on the overall skill set of the players coming through from the youth levels.
Even the football experts have stamped the same fact that if you would double up the contact time between the players and the coaches, there’s every chance that you will see a big improvement in their overall game and technical skills in the process. Moreover, as we understand that EPL itself is an arena which witness World class players and coaches on board with a number of teams around, players like Kane, Alli , Rashford and others have been benefitted of playing alongside all of them for a long time now. This is proved by the fact that almost 15 players from the England world cup squad have played under the likes of World class coaches like Guardiola, Mourinho, Klopp and others.
#Reason 4 Young Players learning the big Fundamentals of Football at an Early Stage
As we just mentioned the fact that most of the players from the English squad were young and less experienced on the International levels, almost all of them have been through the nerve wrecking experience of playing at the crucial stages like UEFA Champions league or Europa cup in the process. This has allowed them to grab the experience of playing alongside topmost International players like Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar and others and infused them with the skill set and temperament required to perform on a stage like world cup later on.
We can also credit the resurgence of players in the U-16, U17 and U-21 levels due to the same fact as they get to learn the in and outs of the game at an early age under the most competitive conditions which would be almost same on the International levels matches. Even Southgate has admitted that his work has been made easy whilst most of his players coming to play the World cup after successful run at UEFA champions league and English premier league.
#Reason 5 Evolution of a Fully Fledged Football System
While most of the people doubted the capabilities of English players in the wake of playing it alongside World’s greats at the World cup, they have been proved wrong by the resurgence of a perfect system for the players in England alongside. Though it’s not like it has been introduced for the very first time in the English football, but programs like EPPP and England’s DNA have certainly benefitted most of the key players in the team and laid down the foundation of the future success.
Although it’s still been believed that the system would take around 7-10 more years in making it best for the English football as a whole, its impressions can still be witnessed in the England’s performance on the football pitch quite recently during the World cup. Still most of the football experts in the England believed that more investment and efforts are required at the youth levels in order to get the best out of the same in the years to come.