Gareth Southgate is urging England to return to their strengths, emphasizing the need to focus on their core abilities. He is reflecting on their qualifying journey for the European Championships and believes they need to regroup and rediscover their true potential. The Three Lions concluded their campaign with a 1-1 draw against North Macedonia, leaving Southgate with numerous considerations before the upcoming tournament in the summer.
Although the match ended in a draw, Southgate commended newcomer Rico Lewis, who unfortunately gave away a penalty in the first half, resulting in the opponents taking the lead. Southgate expressed his strong disagreement with the decision, considering it to be excessively severe. During the recent international break, Lewis was among the young talents representing England. Alongside him, Cole Palmer also made his debut in the victorious match against Malta.
Looking ahead to the next few months, Southgate discussed his decision to position Trent Alexander-Arnold in a more advanced midfield role. He expressed his anticipation for the upcoming Euros draw in December and praised the performances of Alexander-Arnold, Lewis, and Palmer, emphasizing that he has much to consider.
Regarding Lewis, Southgate commended his exceptional skills and composure with the ball. Despite facing a harsh setback with the penalty, Lewis showed resilience and proved to be an outstanding footballer, earning the satisfaction of the team. England is set to emerge as the Group C leaders following their match against North Macedonia, as they have managed to maintain an undefeated record throughout the tournament. Southgate recognized the difficulty of the game but commended his players for their mindset and skill. He also emphasized the team’s commendable performances.
When England fell behind, Southgate opted to substitute Harry Kane, who quickly made an influential contribution by redirecting Phil Foden’s corner with his head, leading to an own goal by Jani Atanasov. Nevertheless, England failed to secure a decisive goal for the victory. Kyle Walker voiced his disappointment regarding North Macedonia’s goal and asserted that they should have secured a victory in the game.
Walker, who served as the captain of England for the first time in his professional career, additionally commended Lewis and extended birthday wishes for the upcoming day. Lewis conveyed his joy in making his debut at the senior level, disregarding the unfavorable penalty decision. He maintains his determination to enhance his skills and is unconcerned about forthcoming tournaments.
In general, Southgate and the England squad have ample matters to contemplate as they get ready for the European Championships.