Friday September 23, 2022, San Siro stadium in Milan.
England have just lost to Italy (1-0) for the 5th day of the League of Nations, a defeat synonymous with relegation to League B for the men of Gareth Southgate.
At the final whistle, the 4,000 English supporters who made the trip did not spare their team, and the whistles descended in cascade from the stands.
I understand the final reaction because of our results in this competition,
confided the coach at a press conference.
It's an entirely understandable emotional reaction.
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First turbulence zone of the Southgate mandate
have, in fact, really not done well in the League of Nations, with only 2 points taken in 5 games and a slap received at home against Hungary in June (0-4).
Above all, they only found the net once, on a penalty from Harry Kane against Germany (1-1).
An inefficiency in front of goal that Gareth Southgate cannot explain.
It's really not easy to determine why we are not scoring
, he explained, before preferring to retain the positives.
It's hard for me to be too critical of our performance.
We had more possession, more shots, more shots on target.
For a good part of the game we played very well.
There were a lot of good individual performances, and the collective performance is a step in the right direction.
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This is a first zone of turbulence in the mandate of Southgate, which had so far obtained very good results at the head of the selection.
Semi-finalists of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and unfortunate finalists of Euro 2020 (played in 2021), the English flew over their qualifying group for the World Cup with eight wins, two draws and above all an average of almost 4 goals per match.
But how far away that time seems!
Last test against Germany
Gareth Southgate speaks of a step in the right direction, but England's performance against Italy looked more like a losing team
journalist Peter Smith.
Two months away from Qatar, England are unable to score in the game, and the attack is isolated from the rest of the team.
It had been 22 years since they had gone three games without a goal.
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If Southgate fails to restore the balance in this team in the next two months, England will have a very difficult time getting back on track in Qatar
,” continues the journalist.
The World Cup is indeed fast approaching for Harry Kane's teammates who have inherited a rather affordable group with confrontations against the United States, Wales and Iran, against whom they will start their competition on 21 November.
Despite criticism from the press and supporters, Gareth Southgate prefers not to be too worried, with the stated objective of "
keeping the guys on the right track
I have to make sure that the players continue to believe in what they are doing.
" have only one opportunity to reassure the nation before Qatar, Monday evening (8:45 p.m.) against Germany, for the last day of the League of Nations.
A match without sporting stakes but so important for the morale of our neighbors across the Channel.