England’s match ban an embarrassment – Southgate

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In the wake of the two-match ban slammed on the Football Association due to the behaviour of fans ahead of the Wembley defeat by Italy in last summer’s Euro 2020 final, England’s manager, Gareth Southgate has described the ban as an embarrassment.

For Southgate, “If it is an embarrassment, it is for England as a country. A lot of the people that caused the problems I’m not certain were football fans.

“We spoke enough about it, we spoke about it after the final and when the punishment was first given, what I will say is the vast majority of our fans who travelled to Germany on Tuesday behaved brilliantly, a big thank you to them because maybe people were thinking something different but there were a huge majority who were a credit,” he said.

Speaking on the games ahead, Southgate insists any of his fit players are capable of playing against Italy but did hint at making changes from the 1-1 draw in Munich.

“There is nobody we can’t use. We have got to think about some things we have got to see, the freshness of the team as well, I think this is a good game for some of the other players to come into, it is a top-level game and is a good sign to show trust towards the players going into these games.

“I think if we only give players certain types of matches, you don’t find out enough about them and they don’t find out enough about the tactical challenge,” he said.

The Southampton captain said: “The manager highlighted before about seeing certain types of players in different types of games and hopefully if that opportunity comes then it’s a good opportunity for me to showcase what I can do against a high level of opposition. It will be a good opportunity to hopefully get some minutes.

“Everybody here is in the squad because they perform well for their club – and you can see that in training. The level is so, so high and having missed out on the European Championship squad, that was a big hurdle for me to overcome.

“I see this as a new challenge now, a new opportunity and I think that has given me a bit more of an incentive heading into this World Cup announcement that I want to be there, I want to be part of this fantastic group and hopefully replicate the success we had.”

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