A mannequin challenge celebration pretty much sums up English football, a still pose, because for the last 10 years, they've not moved. Always trying to adapt but always forced back to square one by either not qualifying for a major tournament (Euro 2008), an embarrassing defeat (World Cup 2010), a horrid tournament (World Cup 2014), or BOTH (Euro 2016).
Almost a fortnight to reflect and a 3 hour job interview later, where is English football?
Southgate's England vs. Spain
How did England not win last Tuesday? Two goals to the good with 88 minutes played and they didn't win? They fell asleep, back in the changing rooms celebrating. What's worse, they could've won quite handsomely considering the number of clear chances created.
These four games have proved one thing, different managers, same result. Always promising so much, but delivering such disappointment.
Right now though, this was the closest to a complete performance seen in years. Gareth Southgate can provide stability but also appears to have a backbone and make the tough choices. Honestly, Rooney shouldn't be going to the World Cup and hopefully, Southgate comes to this realisation as well.
The approach play needs to be like it was at times at Wembley: fast, incisive, creative. The players need to fit at least two, which is why Rooney needs to either drop back, or be dropped because at best, he is creative and in a tournament, it's where the quick thinkers shine and unfortunately he's shown that his gameplay is generally quite slow & lateral, two things that neither his country or club need. He's gonna have to get used to being a bench warmer or change his direction, re-focus so he can revive his career or definitely from the international stage, retire.
(Wayne Rooney on the bench for United & Eng)
This managerial debacle of 3 different coaches in 6 months needs to be swiftly rectified. Gareth Southgate needs to be given time to fully make his mark, his experience with the u21s makes him suited and ready to make to take the team through the transition needed to revive what, considering the level of investment made into the national complex of St George's Park, ought to be a force of not just European, but world football.