World Cup 2018: England need to cover an extra 10km per game to end 52 years of hurt
England will need to find an extra 10km per game if they’re to keep up with the likes of Germany this summer according to a new study.
The Three Lions were one of the laziest sides at the World Cup four years ago and each player will have to run an extra kilometer per game if they are to place a bid for the trophy in the latter stages.
According to the research, released by LEDHut, the England team ran on average just 84km per game in Brazil, 11km less than the Germans every game, and seven kilometers short of the Belgians, who they face in the final game of the Group Stage this summer.
That would set up a potential tie with the Germans in the Quarter Final, dependent on how results fell, where Gareth Southgate’s men would really have to step up and put in the miles.
Most of those nations who reached the very latter stages of the tournament ran larger distances on average, with Argentina, the Netherlands, and Belgium all running over 90km per game on average and finishing in the last eight.
Equally, the nations who overachieved were seen to be putting the effort in on the pitch, with the USA pipping Portugal to a Round of 16 places and Costa Rica surprising everyone and reaching the Quarter Final.
The analysis highlights the importance of work rate at a major tournament, particularly as England were joined by the likes of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Croatia at the bottom of the pile, all of whom were unexpectedly dumped out in the Group Stage.
England have made major changes to their squad since 2014. Gareth Southgate has entered the dugout, while the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Marcus Rashford were a long way off the squad four years ago.
All have provided added energy to the squad, with Dele Alli having actually completed the second most sprints in the Premier League this season, while those that remain in the squad were among the hardest workers during England’s failed campaign.
Gary Cahill averaged almost 10km per game in Brazil, while Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones also averaged over 9km per game. Danny Welbeck and Raheem Sterling averaged around 7km per game, however, the former never played the full 90 minutes and Manchester City’s Sterling only completed the 90 minutes once.
Gareth Southgate will be keen to keep his England side playing at a high tempo, pressing the opposition, just as they did in their final friendly against Costa Rica. If they do that and close the gap on the work rate between themselves and the likes of Germany, France, and Argentina.