New Under-21s manager Gareth Southgate favours style over results for England's next generation
Southgate is preparing for his first game
Thursday 05 September 2013
Gareth Southgate begins his tenure in charge of the England Under-21s tomorrow night, but wants more than just a winning start.
Southgate has replaced Stuart Pearce, who prioritised results over style in his seven-year tenure and ended up with neither. The new man would rather win games than not, but his main goal is to play the type of football that will help the youngsters to be of use to the senior side in the future.
The suspicion with Pearce is that in his desperation for results he used such a limited approach that he did nothing to develop his more talented players. His team went out at the group stage of the 2011 and 2013 European Championships.
"I'm under a little less pressure for results, although we want to get them in the habit of winning," Southgate told the BBC, ahead of the qualifier for Euro 2015, England's opening game, against Moldova at the Madejski Stadium.
"But winning alone is not our aim. They've got to learn to win a certain way to be of use to the seniors. There's an opportunity to play in a certain style that will prepare these youngsters for when they go into the senior team."
So Southgate has a squad full of natural footballers, including talented midfielders Tom Carroll, Nathaniel Chalobah, Will Hughes and Nick Powell, the type of players that Pearce did not always make sufficient use of. Liverpool's Andre Wisdom will be captain.
Some of the squad have already been training along with the seniors at St George's Park, and Southgate believes that smoothing that transition between the two groups is one of the most important parts of his remit.
"It's a brilliant opportunity for them and it's one of the beauties of training at St George's Park," he said. "Six or seven of the lads trained with the seniors on Monday, which we couldn't do if we were playing somewhere else. Myself and Roy [Hodgson] have spoken very carefully about all of this and I think it's a very positive thing for us."
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Stoke City bought goalkeeper Butland from Birmingham City this year but he cannot expect much first-team football, as young back-up to Asmir Begovic.
Enjoying his loan move from Liverpool to Blackpool, having played every game so far for the Championship leaders.
Gareth Southgate's captain for tonight, Wisdom made 19 starts for Liverpool last season, though he may find it harder after summer signings.
Not many English youngsters are educated abroad but Dier has been at Sporting Lisbon, breaking into their first team last season.
One of the few in this squad to be a Premier League regular, 18-year-old Shaw has settled in remarkably quickly.
After struggling to break into the Tottenham first team, Carroll went to Queen's Park Rangers on loan on deadline day.
A teenage midfielder of remarkable authority, the Chelsea ace was on loan at Watford last season.
An unused sub once in three league games at Manchester United and it remains to be seen how David Moyes rates him.
After a handful of appearances for Manchester United last season, the midfielder has been loaned to Wigan Athletic.
A Derby County regular, 18-year-old Hughes has attracted the interest of Liverpool.
Still finding his role as a player, Kane has been loaned out by Spurs four times already and faces an uncertain season.
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