XtraTime Web Desk: England coach, Gareth Southgate, recognises that the ‘Three Lions’ aren’t at the same level as some of the other teams in the tournament. England will be, on average, the third youngest team at the World Cup.
Though English coach didn’t sound very optimistic about the chances of winning the World Cup. He said, “My goal is to surprise people, so absolutely. That’s probably how we are seen now and I think it’s good for us.”
“We have played against one and two – Germany and Brazil – in recent months. Both are exceptional. Spain are re-emerging and Belgium knows that they are very strong. But I have to say that Brazil seems to have the strength, the physics and the technique to win it.” He said about the favorites of this World Cup.
Since Southgate arrived in September 2016, the England side have experienced a revolution in their game.
A metamorphosis to enable them to forget their recent tournament failures.
“One of the keys has been to analyze Tunisia and Panama. We didn’t know as much about them as about Belgium. They will arrive with great enthusiasm and low expectations, which makes them dangerous.” the coach said.
Talking about his team’s dream he said, “It depends on your dream. I think we know where we are… ranked 12th in the world. We are evolving, but we are not at the level that Brazil or Germany have reached. We feel that our young players are excited and we should push them, and we are looking at medium-long term, which will give us better options to win things.
“This doesn’t limit our options to achieve something this summer, but it makes us realistic with the age of the team and what our expectations should be. I’m excited about the players we have.”
VAR (Video Assistant Referees) going to be introduced in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Talking about that Southgate said, “I’m not, personally, a supporter of technology because I believe it is a sport and the decision of the referee should be final. But if we are going to have the technology, we must help the referee and it should only be used for clear situations. As we move forward, there should be better communication with the fans in the stadium.
“Much of the confusion comes from the lack of understanding of what happens. I was at the Confederations Cup and I saw it. And I have also seen it in the FA Cup. Generally, the last decision has been the correct one, but the process has been convoluted.”