The overhaul and the renaissance Luka Modric Croatia Jersey
The revolution began in the wake of Bloemfontein – after England's 4-1 shellacking at the hands of Germany in 2010. The FA finally realized it had to change.
One of its first key hires was Southgate, as a new "head of elite development," with a mandate to overhaul the way the game was taught at youth levels. Germany, France and Spain were his and the FA's models.
"I played international football for England and in many games we were technically inferior," he told the Guardian at the time. "Everybody looks at Barcelona and Spain and realizes we can't keep playing the way we have and producing the English style of player. We have to grow and change."
He and they did. Southgate only stayed in the role for 18 months, later becoming the under-21s coach in 2013. Dan Ashworth took the head of elite development post off his hands. Other new hires joined them to reform England's youth setup, and to codify a new possession-based style in a document entitled "England DNA."
Half a decade later, Ivan Rakitic Croatia Jersey all the foundational changes are rising to the surface. All the streamlined messages. The consistent coaching. And, crucially, the philosophy no longer married to Reep's middle-school-esque mathematical mistakes.
They're rising to the surface in the form of results. The under-17s beat Brazil and Spain to claim their 2017 World Cup. The U-20s conquered their age group the same year. Both were firsts. The U-19s also triumphed at their European Championships. England youth teams, at almost all levels, currently sit atop the world. Tellingly, they've won with tempo and on-ball confidence, a curated fusion of athleticism and technique, just like their big brothers in Russia.
And while youth success doesn't guarantee full international success, it's immensely promising. "If we are successful at under-16 and under-17, the players will carry the mindset through to the senior team," Southgate said upon joining the FA in 2011. How prescient.
The senior team – only nominally so, the third youngest in Russia – came up short on Wednesday. And frankly, it hadn't played well enough to progress further. It had survived on set pieces. It was not the finished product.
But it wasn't supposed to be. Mario Mandzukic Croatia Jersey The project is ahead of schedule. "We've come an incredibly long way in a short space of time," a defeated Southgate said in Moscow. "The whole thing is beyond where we thought we might go. Tonight we weren't quite there."
Soon enough, they will be.
Camping caravaning Alturan - Hôtellerie de Plein air - 64700 Hendaye - Voir la carte