Gareth Southgate on if England could boycott 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
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Former Chelsea and England winger Joe Cole has backed Gareth Southgate and has asked for “perspective” despite England suffering their worst home defeat since 1928 as they were defeated 4-0 by Hungary in the Nations League on Tuesday.
Speaking on Channel 4’s coverage of the game, Cole said: “It’s shocking, the performance tonight was shocking. The players weren’t at it. We have to accept that there was no cohesion, the attitude was wrong from the start. They weren’t at it, they weren’t aggressive, all the things we ask from the team. They weren’t at it, but that was tonight.
“For the fans I can understand the frustration, but you have to put some perspective on it. Gareth Southgate does know what he is doing, of course he does he has taken this group of players and his staff have taken them to a semi-final and a final. That is the most successful manager since Alf Ramsey, now that is factual no one can argue with that.
“But tonight it was dreadful, they will get in dressing down and they will be feeling very sorry for themselves but you have to put some perspective on it.”
England went 1-0 down in the 15th minute when Roland Sallai slammed the ball past Aaron Ramsdale after John Stones mis-cued his header. Hungary doubled their lead in the 69th minute when Martin Allen took the ball off Kalvin Phillips and laid the ball on for Sallai to grab his second of the game.
A third Hungary goal came ten minutes later when a loose ball dropped to Zsolt Nagy who drove a shot from 25 yards into the back of the net. Stones was then shown a second yellow card for a foul on Daniel Gazdag. In a dismal night for the Three Lions, Hungary got their fourth when Gazdag latched onto a through ball and finished past Ramsdale.
As Southgate subbed Bukayo Saka off for Harry Maguire there were chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” directed towards the manager, as England sit bottom of their Nations League group without a win from their four games and are yet to score a goal from open play.
Former Arsenal and England full-back Ashley Cole added: “Too many players were off it. They’ve been held responsible before and they take it on the chin when they have haven’t performed. On reflection they’ll look in the mirror and know it wasn’t good enough. They did have a few excuses, but they also came up against a Hungary side who were hungry and wanted it.”
In his post-match interview Harry Kane said: “A disappointing night. First half we created enough chances to score but it has been the story of our Nations League, we have not quite had the cutting edge. Second half was not acceptable after going 2-0 down. It is not the time to panic, we have to the heads up and come back stronger in September.
“It is our first big defeat in a long time, the defence has been structure of our success. A night to forget but we have to take it on the chin and move forward, we have to prepare for a big World Cup and will learn a lot from this camp. Let’s not forget where we have come from, our fist final in 60 years, a semi-finals in the World Cup compared to where we have been in the last 50 years. I under the fans’ frustration, we will keep working to try and have a successful World Cup.”
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