England manager Gareth Southgate is seeking to lead his squad beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The country that is home to perhaps the best club soccer league in the world in the English Premier League has consistently fallen short of expectations over the past two decades on the international stage of the World Cup. The team failed to get out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup, which served as their greatest disappointment since failing to qualify for the tournament in 1994.
Southgate has been tasked with revitalizing the team after being handed the job in 2016. England finds itself on the verge of a spot in the semifinals if they can advance past Sweden this Saturday in Samara, Russia.
According to BBC Radio 5 Live’s World Cup Daily podcast, Southgate has been looking beyond the sport of soccer for insights that could help him manage England’s World Cup team and devise new tactics on the pitch.
“The technical details of the sports are different but the challenges of leadership, team building, best ways of dealing with the media, that crosses over for every sport,” Southgate said. “To get a view from different sports, different countries with similar sorts of problems, every time I do it you take away pages of notes and then it’s ‘OK, what applies to our sport and how might we get it to work?'”
Southgate has attended the last two Super Bowls with fellow coach Allan Russell and visited the Seattle Seahawks. He’s also studied the NBA as well in seeking potential ways to help with their set pieces, which England had struggled with in previous tournaments. Six of the eight goals scored by England so far at the World Cup this year have come via set pieces or penalty kicks.
“You’re always trying to bring new ideas to your team and new ways of thinking, and anything that can possibly add to what you’re delivering,” Southgate said, via Nick Pope of Esquire.