It could be Sam Allardyce.
While they are there few England fans have left complaining to Gareth Southgate that he still has the job, it would be important to remember that he would not have had the job if Allardyce had not been caught in one of the more silent corruption scandals in recent history and it cost work only 67 days later. For how long, Three Lions fans have been able to deal with England stowing the ball until all the Allardyce shaved monkeys installed in front (and he was the only player in the opposing half), while Wayne Rooney was still there. small around midfield, before Allardyce spent the postgame interview disdainful how much the other team cost to reflect. This is the team that England could have built, which honestly wouldn’t have looked all that different from England under Sven-Goran Eriksson, with John Terry pointing the ball at every corner with Michael Owen or Rooney chasing it hopelessly. , but I digress.
As England prepare for their first final since 1966 (perhaps you’ve heard of it), and every fan who isn’t in England is desperately trying to prove their luck by going to Denmark, everyone should be happy that a slice of luck saved us all from Allardyce. It should also be noted that Southgate is the most successful manager in England already. He has managed the semifinals in major consecutive tournaments, which no other manager can claim. It’s probably more of an accusation from the England program in general, but it’s the facts.
Now comes the last hurdle, and the last block that England must overcome. Despite the size of the population, despite the position of the Premier League for more than a decade now, England have had difficulty seeing themselves at the same level as Italy, or Spain, or Germany, or France. Every time they had met against one of these giants in tournaments (or in Portugal, in 2004 and 2006), they felt the silent complaints. “His players come from Juventus or Madrid or Barcelona or Milan …” as if they weren’t the same clubs that the top English players face in the Champions League year after year, but reigns from the myth that no mortal human would ever see. How can our boys who deal with the cold and rain on Wednesday night in Stoke ever compete with the celestial beings of the continent?
Everything was rooted in the technical gap between England and the rest of the field. The English players simply did not have the touch, control and vision that their continental counterparts had (and at this point it is amusing to note that the shortcomings of England and the USMNT were surprisingly similar in the recent past) . Even England’s best generation – Beckham, Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard – have been revered for their energy and heart and athleticism far more than their ability to weave through a midfield. England would go on to die, and every time they tried to take a touchdown between defenders or in crowds the ball would explode. At the highest level, their lack of us she was always exposed.
But this is not to say that one In England, and when they get online on Sunday, they will face the team that is much more successful in the club game than Italy. For all the praise and esteem that Giorgio Chellini and Leonardo Bonucci get, none of them have a Champions League title to their name. Mason Mount face, with Jorginho of Italy. Jordan Henderson faces. Sterling and Walker and Kane have appeared in the Champions League final more recently.
Italy’s front line consists of a player who plays for the fifth Serie A team (Insigne), the sixth in place (Immobile), and the fourth in place (Chiesa). Meanwhile, England can boast of Raheem Sterling, the best player of his best team just two seasons ago, Harry Kane, who led a Champions League finalist two years ago as well. John Stones and Kyle Walker were both just part of the best defensive team in the best league with Man City. When it comes to recovery, England don’t need to feel sheep to the minimum.
What that means on the field is what gives England fans the heebie-jeebies now, because it always has. England have never been able to play out of trouble, resorting to long balls, losing possession, ending up defending the whole game, surrendering when they get tired. Such a celebrity.
But this England team can do everything Spain has done to Italy that makes them unbeaten for long stretches. They have the midfield to face Jorginho and Verratti. They could force Italy to long balls (the real ball call would be to put on Henderson’s biggest activity to further disturb Italy, but Southgate will present himself at Wembley in a Motorhead t-shirt before changing a lot line). Maguire and Stones are both able to pass or dribble their way through a picture (Maguire in particular). Kalvin Phillips can set the pace from midfield while under pressure, although he seemed a bit cordial at times against Denmark.
Mount and Kane can turn Jorginho’s head around by using the space around him at the base of Italy’s midfield, and further confuse the Italians with Sterling or Saka or Grealish joining them from the wing. Or they can walk over to the counter through any of those too. They have the ability, which no England team has ever had before. Or Grealish can dance through raindrops and draw the 87 fouls per game he plays on average.
And they have the depth. England have a wealth of Champions League players to call up from the bench. Italy does not.
Yes, Italy saw the most enterprising unit in the entire tournament, but Spain had them in the ass for most of the game. It’s hard to think of England in the same hood as Spain, but they really are. The fear is that in every game, there will be an extension where England is sitting at the bottom, letting the other team take the initiative, before regaining control. Germany was too slow in midfield to make the count, and Denmark too tired. Let Jorginho and Verratti have the time and space to pick up passes, and she it will not be come home.
But this England is not going to do that. Not only can he beat Italy, he can beat Italy by doing what Italy and others have been doing for more than 50 years now. You can play. If only England understood what it was now.