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Gareth Southgate Writes Off England’s Chances Of Winning Euro 2020

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Gareth Southgate Writes Off England’s Chances Of Winning Euro 2020

Gareth Southgate has all but written off England's chances of winning Euro 2020 chances as he admitted they were not at the "standard" of other nations.

The England manager playing down public expectations after a flat performance in the 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley is perhaps understandable.

However the man who's been in charge of England since 2016 describing his side as "a work in progress" and saying they are behind Italy - who did not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while England got to the semi-finals - will have some fans scratching their heads.

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"I think I have said before that some teams are at a different point in their development," said Southgate, per the Mirror, ahead of England's final group game against the Czech Republic.

"The run that Italy have had - 28 or 29 games unbeaten - and we know what France and Portugal have done over the last few years, and Belgium have been the No 1 team in the world for four years.

"So that's the level. That's the standard we've got to aspire to.

"We're a work in progress. The first step is to qualify from the group and then we're into the next phase.

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"But at this moment we've got to get the game against the Czech Republic right."

Southgate is correct that focusing on the next game is the best strategy, even if the four points England have already may be enough to qualify them for the knockout stage.

However the cold water thrown on England's chances does sound curiously downbeat mid-tournament. Particularly as - if England win Group D - France and Portugal are two possible contenders, as England would play the runners-up in Group F (which also contains Germany).

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"It's nice for England to have a manager who instils a winning mentality, in what is a ridiculously talented squad," said one Three Lions fan on Twitter in response to Southgate's comments.

"Southgate said that England are a 'work in progress'. He's been in charge for five years!" pointed out another.

Clearly Southgate was just trying to cool the hype that always builds around England in a major tournament. But some supporters feel that the manager may have gone a bit too far.

All imagery: PA Images

Topics: Euro 2020, England, Gareth Southgate

Alex Reid
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