Unfinished project: England before the European Championship duel with Croatia

“I never believed it was only football for us,” the coach wrote. “I understand that we want and must stand up for our values ​​and traditions on this island. But this should not come at the cost of introspection and progress.” He sounded almost like the political and moral leader that the British are currently missing. And like any good politician, he ended with a message of hope: “We’ve never won the European Championship, and we really want to. Believe me.”

It’s political

Southgate is not under immediate pressure to win the title. With the successes of recent years, it has earned respect from all sides – and has a job guarantee at least until the 2022 World Cup. Modern England is also an unfinished project: despite the many talents in attack, this team still has weaknesses. . The coach himself admitted that his team needed to improve defensively and there was a lack of experience in general. Players like Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson are on the team, but they’re not even close to 100 percent. In their final match of the tournament, the World Cup semi-final against Croatia in 2018, England were very immature. Some fear that will be the case again on Sunday against the same opponent.

But the 50-year-old, who became a tragic figure as a player in the delightful European Championship at home on penalties against Germany, appears to see an opportunity this summer. He wants to re-visit the ghost of 1996, when there was no booing and everyone sang “Football Come Home” with one voice.

He will be tolerant of him. But it could be a completely different song from 1996 that will be applied this summer. “Yeah, he’s a ridiculous politician,” British punk band Skunk Anansie sang at the time. “It’s all political.”

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