Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Southgate needs to find right moments to let England’s young stars off leash

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Gareth Southgate has arguably the most exciting array of young English talent available to a national team manager at a major tournament in recent memory. Others might get overexcited with the quality at their disposal but Southgate will have a clear strategy of how he can utilise his young lions to get the team as far as possible in the European Championship.

Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho have enjoyed incredible seasons for their clubs, liberated by their coaches. Southgate will need to harness the individual styles cultivated in domestic and Champions League football if he is to take England to the latter stages. Tournament football is very different from the club game, with Southgate required to pinpoint the right opposition and moments to let his young stars off the leash.

Southgate knows he cannot fit all the young guns into one team every game but he will certainly have a number of plans and formations he can utilise to get the best out of his flair players. Mount and Foden are highly intelligent footballers, in terms of their movement and ability to run off other people; their football IQs mean they can easily play with each other, because they will work off each other’s movements.

For Manchester City . . .

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