Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Gareth Southgate Discusses England’s Defensive Concerns & Says He Is Already Planning for Qatar 2022

2 min read

​Gareth Southgate has confessed he is already having selections headaches about who to choose for the next World Cup, despite Euro 2020 being less than six months away.

The Three Lions boss penned a new deal in charge of the national side back in October 2018, a deal that would see him remain at the helm until after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

While the 49-year-old will have plenty of work to do before the European Championships take place, Southgate revealed he is not resting on his laurels and looking ahead to the next World Cup. It’s a competition the England boss now knows well, having partaken in as a player while also leading the Three Lions to the semi-finals for the first time in 28 years.

“Even though we don’t have games for a few months, as a group of staff we are planning for every eventuality next summer,” he told ​Sky Sports“We’re also in tandem going through some plans which need to happen for Qatar 2022. Every morning I wake up and think ‘if I had to pick the squad tomorrow, what would it be?'”

Up front England are blessed with some outstanding talent in the shape of ​Raheem Sterling​Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho, however, there are still concerns over the Three Lions’ defensive stability heading into next summer’s European Championships.

It is something that Southgate confessed his high on his list of priorities, with some stern tests to come for his side in the competition in a group that, so far, contains Croatia and Czech Republic.

Gareth Southgate,John Stones

“I think as a team we are going to have tougher tests defensively than we have had to this point. When we have defended as a team we haven’t had too many issues,” he added. “[They have come] when we have conceded the ball in our half on quick counter-attacks,” he added.

“We have to constantly review all areas of our game but if I look at the team, and the options we have in attack, we have quite a few players further back who are not regularly playing for their clubs – there are more opportunities for people to come and bed themselves into those positions.”

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