5 things Gareth Southgate must do to take England to the next level
World Cup 2018 gave us something we hadn't witnessed in years. England reached the semi-finals in Russia for the first time in 28 years, much to the delight of fans of The Three Lions.
Above all, England's unbelievable run to the World Cup semi-finals was a result of a pragmatic approach by Gareth Southgate. With players like Wayne Rooney retiring, and injuries to Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, as well as the loss of form of other players, Gareth Southgate was forced to pick an inexperienced squad for the tournament.
And as a result of this, a hugely encouraging platform was built. What eventually went against England were the limitations involved in making set-pieces a team's primary focus. They needed to retain possession better, and vary the tempo of the game with which they play.
If the country's new favorite individual wants to build upon a near perfect World Cup and make the team even better before Euro 2020, then it's time he makes some changes to the current formula and the squad.
#1 No more old players
For the upcoming friendlies, Gareth Southgate demonstrated his ruthlessness and ambition by dropping Ashley Young who was a reliable player throughout the last World Cup.
On the left flank, the selection of a right-footed player in a system which requires width, occasionally caused England to fall short of that very quality, and for a team which needs to look beyond set-pieces and peak in two years, there is no point in retaining a 33-old year old in the group.
Gareth doesn't have to deal with both Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill similarly, after they announced retirement from International football post the World Cup. Dropping a player like Ashley Young who is influential and consistent might seem needless, but when there are already convincing younger alternatives on the sidelines, making an argument is pointless.