Dan’s World Cup thoughts for Just Arsenal by Dan Smith
English fans promised ourselves we never go to a major final again over hyping our chances. Yet is anyone else beginning to find the current media love-in sickly ?
Gareth Southgate is being hailed as a tactical genius for talking to Pep Guardiola, as a former player can apparently identify with his squad in terms of being away from family, mentally has cured them by getting grown adults to talk to each other and the press wIll no longer write a bad word because they have been invited into the hotel to play pool and darts.
The danger being that our manager believes in his own hype and over complicates things. While I’m happy we are going to a tournaments knowing our best team and have an identity, it should be rememberd that none of this has been tried in a competitive match against a good team.
Bill Shankly once said that the game was simple but others chose to over complicate it. Surely any formation or individuals should beat Tunisia and Panama?
Playing 5 at the back, having full backs as Centre-backs, basing defenders on ability to play with the ball should only be praised if we knockout a top nation. Anyone can take the Man City template but the difference is they have word class talent. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to keep the ball, but let us be realstic. Kyle walker alters position at the Ethiad because the champions are used to 70 per cent of possession.
If he was a good centre back, for his club he wouldn’t play right back ! It’s Southgate thinking outside of the box, but is he just doing it for the sake of it?