England Struggles, World Cup Pressure Mounting on Gareth Southgate

England Struggles, World Cup Pressure Mounting on Gareth Southgate

The grumbles were there even as England reached the final of the European Championship—which proved at least that the mood around an England manager has very little to do with the actual football. But moods have a tendency to become self-fulfilling and recent form has been dismal. 

England hasn’t won any of its last five games and is suddenly in a major slump of form, with major questions in a number of positions and manager Gareth Southgate coming under mounting pressure.

The England manager’s job is to be criticized, almost whatever happens. In the past six years, Southgate has won five knockout games at major tournaments; in the previous 66, England had won only nine. In the past six years, Southgate has taken England to two semifinals; in the previous 66, England had reached only three. By comparison with what went before, his record is very good; he stands behind only Alf Ramsey in terms of achievement. And yet there is something about the circus that surrounds England that means nothing is ever enough.

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