“Youngsters these days have no regard for tradition. We don’t get to finals of world cups. How dare they.”
Peter Crouch’s tweet sums up English international football at the moment. England have strug- gled to find success for a long time now at international football at the senior level.
Gareth Southgate’s England may have qualified for the 2018 World Cup and have not been beaten in over 35 qualifying games for major tournaments. They have the odd world-class player such as Harry Kane leading the line, but, to be honest, nobody is going into this World Cup full of confidence.
However, at youth level, England cannot stop winning. So far in 2017 England have won the Under-17 World Cup, the Under-20 World Cup and the European Under-19 Championships. Maybe World Cups are just like buses: we wait fifty years and then two come at once. Rhian Brewster has grabbed a lot of the headlines throughout the U17 tournament, scoring hat-tricks in both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, and leading the massive comeback from 2-0 down to winning 5-2 in the final.
The Liverpool striker’s eight goals throughout the tournament have shown the world why Jürgen Klopp is so excited about this young talent. However, he is just one of a much wider team that has had so much success.
The Under-20 team saw similar success this summer too, with Liverpool forward Dominic Solanke winning the Golden Boot at that age group’s World Cup. Many of these young players are trying to fight their way into their respective clubs’ starting teams. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is regularly starting for Everton, and Joe Gomez (England U21 Captain) and Trent Alexander-Arnold are shining this season for Liverpool.
This is providing England fans with a lot of hope for the future. After all, not only do England have a sensational amount of talent about to break through, but also the current senior line-up has a number of young stars, such as Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli, in the team. Jordan Pickford is a promising young keeper, and Kane will be in the prime of his career by 2022.
All England need is a top manager to help organise the national team in an effective manner and bring the success in international football at the senior level that we all hope for.
Mauricio Pochettino has played a big role in bringing a number of current England players through, and has been described as ‘England’s secret weapon’ by Gareth Southgate.
Indeed, Pochettino has recently revealed ambitions to manage England in the future – so maybe, England senior team may one day soon follow its youth divisions and bring the World Cup home.