No Semifinalist Is an Island


England, with the possible exception of the early 1990s, has always produced players. Where it has always fallen short is in how to use them. It has, invariably, arrived at a World Cup or a European Championship and found itself outwitted by teams using systems it did not fully understand, or outfoxed by sides with greater tactical flexibility, or outwitted by players with superior technique or greater fitness.

That has changed, and it has changed because all of Southgate’s squad, at one point in their young careers or another, have been exposed to imported ideas.

Some of that is direct: Kane was crafted into one of the world’s best strikers by an Argentine coach, Mauricio Pochettino, with a largely Spanish staff; Jordan Henderson has matured into a natural leader under the watchful eye of Jürgen Klopp; Sancho and Jude Bellingham went to the Bundesliga to finish their educations; Bielsa has done for Phillips what Guardiola has done for Walker, Stones, Foden and Sterling.


But the majority of it is indirect. Jordan Pickford, the goalkeeper, has been encouraged to work on his distribution because that is what elite European soccer demands. Harry Maguire is comfortable marking a zone, not a player, on set pieces because that approach was popularized in England 15 years ago by European coaches.

The whole bright crop of promising young stars that litters Southgate’s squad was brought through academies where the coaching — if not always the coaches themselves — were in line with European, and especially Spanish, thinking. England’s great youth development revolution, the clumsily titled Elite Player Performance Plan, was designed in part to mimic the hot-housing of talent that happens in France and, again, Spain.

Its products have been drafted into teams that, invariably, play a style and use an approach that is inflected with internationalism. Not just in the way they play, but the way they train, and even what they eat: It is only a little more than 20 years, after all, since Arsène Wenger arrived at Arsenal and — as far as English soccer is concerned — invented pasta.


Phillips has been shaped, in the figurative sense and the literal one, over the last three years by Bielsa’s intense, unrelenting attention. This is the end result: from a backwater to the semifinals of Euro 2020. His story is a remarkable one, but it is not an exception. It is the rule.

Stay connected with us on social media platform for instant update click here to join our  Twitter, & Facebook

We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.


For all the latest Sports News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TechAzi is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More