Don’t think system was responsible for any of goals vs Germany, claims Gareth Southgate
England boss Gareth Southgate has admitted that he doesn’t think the team’s defensive structure and system on a whole lead to them conceding three goals against Germany. The Three Lions went down 2-0 in the second half but produced a three goal comeback only for Germany walk away with a point.
After an impressive post Euro 2020 performance especially in their World Cup qualification group, England have struggled to find a good run of form. That has been perfectly encapsulated by their struggles in the UEFA Nations League A with the Three Lions finishing the group stages without a single win. Not only that, two losses to Hungary and one to Italy meant that Gareth Southgate’s side were relegated to the tier below which has seen the England boss criticized.
That is especially with the 2022 World Cup less than two months away and it has more than a few fans concerned in light of the fact that the Three Lions have conceded seven goals in their last three Nations League games. It includes three goals against Germany on Monday night but Southgate defended the system and believes that England’s defensive frailties weren’t because of a tactical reason.
"I don't think the system was responsible for any of the goals. I think that's clear. So we were a bit naïve on the counter for the second, and the first and the third are individual errors. So in the end what pleased me was the threat we looked playing in that system. People are going to have an opinion, but I think it's the best way for us,” Southgate said, reported Sky Sports.
"I have to accept there's going to be a huge amount of noise, there has been, around individual and team selections, but if I'm going to be wishy-washy, change my mind, and not give us the best chance of winning, then it's pointless me doing it. I think the players are committed to it, they know the more we play it the more comfortable we'll be. I think there were some positive signs across the two games with it."
England’s tactics and on-field struggles isn’t the only thing that Southgate has come under fire for as his preference to use a select group of players while leaving out others hasn’t gone down well. That is especially in light of both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw struggling for form but the England boss defended the duo and admitted that they need to back their experienced stars.
"That's always going to be a challenge, especially regarding how much football they've had. I know everyone will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments Harry delivered during the two matches. Luke was another example of someone who is an outstanding footballer, so what do we do - not pick Luke Shaw because he's not playing enough football or do we pick a player who can do what you saw tonight?
"That's always going to raise debate, but I think in these moments we've got to back our best and are most experienced players, unless we're in a situation where it's almost untenable and impossible to pick them,” he added.