ONE thing is for certain, Gareth Southgate’s England will never be compared to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle.
There will be no cavalier attacking, no legs-akimbo defending and no ‘we’re going to score one more than you’ mentality in Russia next summer.
Getty Images – Getty It will be a case of ‘just get the job done’ for England out in Russia next summer
Neither will they provide the off-field showbiz circus of the Becks and Sven days in Baden-Baden either.
In fact, Southgate’s Three Lions will attempt to bore the pants off a global audience at the World Cup finals.
They have scored two goals and conceded none in their past four matches and their manager intends to stick to his current formula.
Three centre-backs, plus another auxiliary defender in Eric Dier just in front, plus a couple of wing-backs. That is six at the back if you are being unkind.
EPA Gareth Southgate will make sure England are sensible and organised above everything else EPA England’s new breed and the way they play mirror the ‘no frills’ of their boss
Yet should England replicate their recent form when they get to Russia — draw 0-0 with the best teams, win 1-0 against the average ones — few will be complaining.
Southgate has been quietly ruthless with so many of the bigger ‘names’ in the squad he inherited.
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Wayne Rooney was forced into retirement, while Jack Wilshere, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now all find themselves on the outside looking in.
Unlike Roy Hodgson, he will not be trying to shoehorn stars into his side where they do not fit and he will not be risking players with poor fitness records.