England soccer manager Gareth Southgate sought insights from the NFL

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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.

10 responses to “England soccer manager Gareth Southgate sought insights from the NFL

  1. One idea he may have got from the NFL is the concept of tanking. In the final group game both Belgium and England had already qualified, the winner of the match between them would have the harder route to the final. Both managers picked second string sides, then for some strange reason (maybe he fell asleep at the team meeting) Januzaj scores for Belgium. England after this never look like scoring and therefore have the easier pathway to progress. After the match Southgate and the players say all the right things about being disappointed to lose the game but they know they’ve done the right thing by not trying to win. In the quarter finals Belgium play Brazil after that the winner faces Uruguay or France, England meanwhile will play Sweden then Croatia or Russia, a far easier path to the final.

    I don’t have a problem with “losing to win” and I don’t expect the players or coaches to admit to doing it. However the English media don’t seem to either accept the concept or even admit England would do such a thing. To them England would never indulge in any of the “dark arts” that the other nations so often revel in. Me I say own it, England went out and did the sensible thing by losing that match. I’m not saying they will go on to win the whole thing but they have given themselves the best chance to do so and that’s something to be celebrated not shied away from.

  2. I can just see Pete Carroll giving the England manager quite a few tips on not how to blow a championship game at the wire.

  3. The Premiership is largely to blame! Greedy billionaires took over the old 1st division and broke away from the rest of the league. Over 70% of its players are now not English (other European top flights are 50% foreign), limiting the pool of top flight English players, and of those that are in the Prem their teams’ greedy owners do all they can to minimize their playing for the national squad.

    A half-decent youth academy system was established to address the resultant shortfall in still bringing English youngsters into the top flight, but the Billionaires Premiership monstered that too in 2012, making it all about money also, and transfer fees etc (making it tough for small clubs) and insisting on total power over all small clubs – for example, being able to walk into a lower division’s club and take ANY youth player at will for a small fee. Not since King Edward II actually banned football on April 13, 1314 (yes, 704 years ago) has the game in the home of football been so screwed by those in power.

  4. For those wondering what he mentions he took away from the NFL, he focused on the OL blocking, and how they make space in a congested area.

  5. Here’s an insight you could learn from the NFL–keep the better players on the pitch. Ashley Young and Sterling should be on the bench, Vardy and either Rose or TAA should be in the starting XI. Kyle Walker is going to get you beat eventually but I understand since Cahill & Jones are worse.

  6. They obviously didn’t learn mental toughness from Belichick because when Colombia players got physical with them, England players got rattled.

  7. “mental toughness from belichick”
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    TRANSLATION: Knowing you are not going to be hit because the officials on the field constantly throw flags in the opponent’s direction whenever they get close to a patriots player causing opponents to give up out of fear of being flagged for a legal hit

  8. LET’S BE HONEST: This is similar to an nfl team visiting an Indian cricket team

    Soccer is on the cusp of being the 3rd most watched sport in the United States.

    Worldwide viewership of professional soccer DWARFS nfl.

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