enter image description here
Following in Spalletti's Footsteps: Southgate Blames Journalists for England's Lackluster Play

The coach accused journalists of the team's uninspired performance.

The English national team's play is criticized by almost everyone, both at home and abroad. Under Gareth Southgate's management, the team has shown little quality football for at least the past six years. What the representatives of Albion do on the field often hardly resembles football.

But here's the paradox: the English achieve decent results despite this. They reached the semifinals of the World Cup in Russia, played in the home final of the EURO, and now they are in the semifinals of EURO 2024. Yes, semifinals are not medals, and losing at Wembley is even more painful than finishing fourth. However, even among the top tier, any other team would envy such consistency.

However, criticism mounted, and Southgate had to react sooner or later. After the group stage matches, his own fans were booing him. Journalists continued to criticize the coach, relentlessly adding fuel to the fire. Finally, Southgate couldn't take it anymore. On the eve of the semifinal against the Netherlands, he responded by blaming journalists for his players' poor performance (specifically in the match against Switzerland).
enter image description here
The essence of his accusations was that as soon as the team finishes training, their upcoming opponents are aware of all their tactical nuances within a couple of hours. And it is the media representatives who leak this information. This raises two questions: first, why haven't the English, facing such a problem, ever tried to change anything in their game? Second, all teams played against England differently, each in their own style, yet the results were roughly the same. How could this be?

It seems neither journalists nor opponents are interested in how England plans to play against them because they already know it well. Yes, it's hard to score against the English. Their defense is currently their trademark. And they have learned to take penalty kicks well. As for the attack, Kane's principle remains unchanged. And a massive share of luck. These are the components of Southgate's football. Is there any need to send spies to peek at training? Of course not.

It seems that Southgate is starting to lose his nerve. We've heard something similar from Luciano Spalletti after Italy barely made it out of the group stage. The Croatians should have knocked them out of the tournament but relaxed at the worst moment and were immediately punished. This didn’t help the Italians, who extended their stay at EURO by just a few days and still disgracefully exited in the round of 16.
enter image description here
And what about Spalletti? Luciano spent all this time searching for the informant among journalists and opponents, seeing the root of the problems. However, the Italian went even further: he searched among his players, who apparently responded by matching his mood.

England has already climbed high. Crucial matches will determine whether this team is finally ready for titles. Understandably, the coach is nervous. He must understand that beating the Netherlands will be extremely difficult with such football. And even if they succeed, France or Spain awaits. Judging by their performance, Spain should simply steamroll the English.

Instead of preparing diligently, Southgate starts looking for scapegoats. By doing so, he acknowledges the problems in the team's play but refuses to take responsibility for them. It won't be long before we see where this tactic leads.

Published by Patrick Jane