Brave New Future for England at FIFA World Cup | Kwesé

Brave New Future for England at FIFA World Cup

Brave New Future for England at FIFA World Cup

15:00 SAST | 16 May 2018

Watch all 64 FIFA World Cup games LIVE on Kwesé Sports

Although the world loves England's Premier League football, the national team does not inspire as much excitement. In a FIFA World Cup year the pressure will once again build on the Three Lions, as fans hope for the impossible. What realistic chance does England have of repeating the heroics of the 1966 team that lifted the World Cup Trophy? Not much says English great Gary Lineker. England's most successful FIFA World Cup goals-scorer believes that coach Gareth Southgate should blood youngsters and build towards future tournaments: "If I was Gareth Southgate I would sell this on youngsters." If Gary Lineker was Gareth Southgate he would have to be a bit more guarded with his opinion. No English fan wants to hear that the coach has given up on winning before the tournament even starts. Yet that's what Lineker is advising, "Take total pressure off them, say - it's all about experience, we're not going to do particularly well, we are not going to win this World Cup."

Gareth Southgate hasn't quite said that, but he came close in a recent interview, "Everyone can see we’re a developing team." The problem for England is technical ability - their players aren't quite as skilled as the Brazilians, French, Germans and Spanish. Southgate is aware of this, noting, "We've tried to change our style of play, with our young players developing better technical ability with the ball."

And who are these skilled youngsters to lead England to the top? Lineker believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) and Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham) should be given the nod when Southgate announces his 23-man squad on 16 May. Sessegnon turns 18 on 18 May. Could he be a Pele-like figure for England who comes of age at the World Cup? Like Pele, African blood runs through his veins, and like the great Brazilian he exudes a certain calm self-assurance that projects 'winner'. Sessegnon has inspired Fulham to the EFL Championship Playoff Final, which airs on Saturday (26 May).

EFL Championship Playoff Final: Fulham vs Aston Villa (KS1, 26 May at 18:00 CAT; Repeat on KFS, 27 May at 14:00 CAT)

Southgate probably won't pick Sessegnon, but he's certainly talking the same language as Lineker: "We'd rather invest our time and show belief in the young players that could be world class, whom we think now are good players but also going forward can be even better." Old stalwarts Joe Hart and Jack Wilshere will be left out of the squad as the Three Lions look forward to a brave new future of football. Southgate is not giving too much away, but at this rate he'd probably settle for a quarterfinal appearance. In the group stages they must target wins against Tunisia and Panama, because they can't expect too much against a stellar Belgian squad.

Tunisia vs England (Kwesé Free Sports and Kwesé FIFA Channel, 18 June at 19.45 CAT)
England vs Panama (Kwesé FIFA Channel, 24 June at 13.45 CAT)
England vs Belgium (Kwesé FIFA Channel, 28 June at 19.45 CAT)

The FIFA World Cup starts 14 June. Get Kwesé TV and watch all 64 games LIVE in HD. Plus, revel in the Russian experience from an African perspective, with a dedicated FIFA World Cup channel, world-class stars in studio, magazine shows, highlights, reviews and more. Kwesé Free Sports viewers can enjoy 32 games LIVE, including the semifinals and final.

 

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