2 Thursday, March 26, 2020 13:19

Euros delay may be ideal for England... Southgate's starlets could peak at the perfect time

Gareth Southgate has had to deal with plenty in his three-and-a-half years in charge of the England team.He has faced the fallout of the Sam Allardyce affair, a Euro 2020 qualifying campaign pockmarked with incidents of racism and, more surprisingly, a canteen altercation between two players — Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez.

 In the middle of all that, Southgate took England to within a hairs breadth of a World Cup final. How long ago that suddenly seems now.

Gareth Southgate has transformed England in his three-and-a-half years in the manager role

He has a depth of talent not afforded to his predecessors and they are only going to get betterIts fair to say Southgates latest challenge was never on his radar.

The 49-year-old is a strategist but some things you cannot plan for and one such matter is the postponement of a major tournament by 12 months.Like the rest of us right now, Southgate would give anything to know that the European Championship now scheduled for next summer will actually take place.That would be a sure sign that Europe and the world had placed the coronavirus epidemic behind them.

He is a football man, though, and will still be thinking football thoughts. With that in mind, it is hard not to wonder what his team may look like this time next year. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 2 Next
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Here is how Ian Ladyman wants England to start the European Championships next yearEngland would have had a chance of making the latter stages of the tournament this June.

Playing their group games at Wembley would have provided something of a comfort blanket. England remain strong at home where they are now supported by a public who buy their tickets and turn on their televisions with a little more hope and fondness.Nevertheless, winning the tournament — speculation that had started to crop up in far too many conversations this season — would in all likelihood have proved beyond them.

 Southgates team has promise but it has holes in it, too. The opposition from the best of Europe would have been a little stronger than many of the teams England defeated during their run to the last four of the World Cup two summers ago.This is not meant to sound unkind but England largely beat teams they would expect to beat in Russia, then lost to the first good one they faced — Croatia.

. Theyll have a tougher schedule in the Euros.So maybe the next 12 months or so present Southgate with opportunity, whether he would.....

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