Less than three months before the Qatar World Cup, England fans have not held back in their criticism of Gareth Southgate after being relegated from the top tier of the Nations League.
Losing to Italy 0-1, a team that failed to qualify for the World Cup, England is now winless in its last five games, the longest drought in eight years.
Football commentators have agreed with the criticism calling it fair as England has now gone 495 minutes without scoring a goal from open play.
The man blamed is Gareth Southgate, who has coached the team since 2016.
An experimental attacking formation was set as a play against the Italians, but a lack of movement and defence led to the fall of the English footballers.
Giacomo Raspadori’s 68th-minute strike pushed Southgate’s men into the second-tier League B.
The Three Lions have scored only one goal in their five Nations League games, that lone goal being a penalty.
However, the sorry loss hasn’t shamed Southgate as he believes the game can be summed up as a good performance.
“Lots of good individual performances. I personally thought the performance is a step in the right direction. I completely understand because of the result that is not going to be the reaction,” said England Manager Southgate.
The sacking of Southgate may be too late as the World Cup inches closer. Nonetheless, team England is asking its fan to be patient.
“We’re in a period where we have to come together. The fans are probably frustrated, and they have to stick with us because we’ve got a big tournament coming up,” said England’s Harry Maguire.
England will face Germany on Monday in the last match before the team’s November draw with Iran, US and Wales.
Gareth Bale confident of World Cup fitness
Wales captain Gareth Bale is convinced his mind and body will be up to the test for this upcoming World Cup.
The 33-year-old has a long history of injuries and has been recharged this summer after moving to the Major League Soccer (MLS).
Appearing in 11 matches for Los Angeles FC, the former Real Madrid winger has yet to play a full game since joining the club.
However, despite the lack of minutes on the pitch, Bale believes his current strategy will prepare him for the Qatar tournament.
“I’m getting stronger and fitter. Now we have an important stretch of games in the MLS, but after that, I can turn my attention to the World Cup and hopefully be in the best shape as I possibly can,” said Bale.
Recognised as one of the greatest Welsh players, Bale has found love for the beautiful game after a dramatic period in Real Madrid.
In Spain, fans adored Bale as he won several titles in his nine years.
Winning five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Bale left for the United States because of the flexibility in the Los Angeles schedule.
A less demanding environment rejuvenated the superstar allowing him to return to his superstar performance that fans of his miss.
Wales manager Robert Page has stated that he is pleased to see Bale’s mood shift as the clock inches closer to the World Cup.
“The family are happy, he’s got them with him, and it seems like he’s back enjoying his football albeit he’s not playing 90 minutes,” Page said.
The Welsh football manager also commented on the current training for Bale, convinced that the captain will lead his team into a successful FIFA campaign.
As Wales takes on Belgium in the UEFA Nations League tournament, Bales is anticipated to be sidelined to avoid any risk.
“We’ve always had a common sense approach with Gareth with regards to his planning and training. It’ll be no different on this camp. I’m not going to jeopardise it and run the risk of him getting injured, which will have an impact on November and the World Cup,” Page said ahead of Thursday’s match against the Belgians.
Bale brought back Wales to the World Cup stage for the second time in 64 years.
A deflected Gareth Bale free-kick was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Ukraine, sending the country into a frenzy as it will return to the FIFA tournament since 1958.
The Welsh team will restore its World Cup roots on the 21st of November against the United States and go on to face Iran and England.