England Youth Policy Continuing to Shine
When Gareth Southgate took over as England boss he made bringing young players into the team his biggest priority. After impressing at the World Cup and giving their fans something to cheer about now and get excited about for the future, Southgate has continued his good work and it was there for all to see against Spain last night. The average age of the England starting line up was just over 23 last night, the youngest it has been for a competitve fixture since 1959. That team was put together with the hope of challenging for a World Cup, something that England eventually won in 1966, can Gareth Southgate be the man to repeat that achievement with his Young Lions?
Something that Southgate has done brilliantly since his time coaching the national team has introduce the youngsters bit by bit. We have not had a huge influx of players all together, but slowly many different youngsters have had the chance to get a taste of what international football is all about, and find their feet within the setup. Last night Harry Winks and Joe Gomez both played, and played very well showing that they are ready for the next phase of their careers. Winks was on the ball a lot, so much so that he had the most touches of any England player on the pitch.
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After their victory in Spain last night, England kept their Nations League dream alive. They still have work to do to top the group and qualify for the final next summer, but the bookmakers have shortened them to 13/1 after seeing their display last night. While the Nations League brings regular, competitive football to the international scene, it is unlikely to be at the top of Gareth Southgate's agenda right now.
That place will be reserved for the Euro 2020 Championships, the next big tournament for him and his youngsters to focus on. The England team should have learnt a lot from their World Cup rollercoaster, and that should stand them in good stead going into Euro 2020. It is no surprise to see England amongst the favourites, and they are priced up at 9/1 to win the tournament, which makes them the fifth favourites with the bookmakers.