Gareth Southgate Giacomo Raspadori Football Italy Gareth Southgate Giacomo Raspadori Football Italy

England slip to dispiriting Italy defeat to suffer Nations League relegation

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If this was Gareth Southgate refusing to compromise, what are the alibis? What are the excuses? This is no longer the summer, nor “just the Nations League”.

It isn’t even a result of England football team’s ongoing failure to win in this country since 1961, since this wasn’t even a particularly strong Italy football team.It no longer looks like a strong England.And that, more than anything, is why this is now a big problem.

There is more going on here than a bad run at the wrong time.Southgate’s side look stale and disconnected, just as they come to a tournament that the Football Association had long targeted as the culmination of an era.It may well prove a nadir of Southgate’s time.

That will certainly be the discussion after this drab 1-0 defeat to Italy, which brings relegation in the Nations League.England just had nothing like the sort of deftness or directness of Giacomo Raspadori’s match-winning strike.They had very little of anything at all, other than a lot of concerns for Southgate to try and figure out with just one game left before the World Cup.It was if anything a regression, as symbolised by the continual resorting to set-pieces and the use of a three-man backline that only radiates caution.Harrys Kane and Maguire look perplexed by England’s dismal defeat The team just didn’t seem to work.

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