Gareth Southgate has urged his England players to win the World Cup to atone for their agonizing defeat in the Euro 2020 final.
After a 1-1 draw in the final at Wembley in July, Southgate’s team was denied in devastating manner as Italy won on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Southgate was questioned for several of his tactics and substitutions in the final, despite bringing England to their first major final in 55 years.
He understands that winning the World Cup in Qatar next year is the only way to silence the naysayers and erase the terrible memory of Italy hoisting the title on English soil.
Only 53 days after that dramatic final loss, England’s path to Qatar begins with a qualifier in Hungary on Thursday.
Southgate stated, “We probably need to win a World Cup final.” “Nothing will ever compare to the caliber of the game we were a part of, or the unique circumstances that playing in a final provides.”
“We’ve had two years to reflect on a World Cup semifinal, and anything we do in the following 18 months needs to be geared at putting us in a position to compete in a World Cup.”
When asked if he would ever get over the sorrow of losing to Italy, Manchester United defender Harry Maguire mirrored Southgate’s views.
He stated, “It aches and it always will hurt.” “Will you ever be able to forgive yourself for losing a penalty shootout to become European champions?” You’ll probably only be able to overcome this if you win one of these large events.
“Of course it hurts, and it’s likely to impact every fan, not just the players and staff.” Everyone will be harmed.”
OUR OWN CONCERNS
After being accused with racist and homophobic offenses by the governing body, Hungary will play their next two Uefa-organized home matches behind closed doors, with a third game suspended due to abuse from the crowd at Euro 2020.
The fan restriction does not apply to the match against England on Thursday, as World Cup qualifiers are governed by Fifa.
Because England’s fans are unable to travel, the Puskas Arena is expected to be packed with more than 60 000 home fans.
Southgate, on the other hand, feels that the racial abuse that followed the Euro 2020 final requires immediate action.
Following their shoot-out misses, England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were all attacked online.
“Well, that is none of our business really,” Southgate told the BBC when asked if there should be a regulation change to enforce blanket stadium bans rather than competition-specific ones.
“We’ve had our own issues; we recently finished a final in which there was a lot of devastation.”
“So I think we should straighten ourselves out first; we’re prepared for what happens in Hungary, but our players and their families went through a lot in the final.”
“As a result, I despise it when we gaze out the window when we don’t have our own house in order. We still have a lot of distance to make up on our own.”