Gareth Southgate believes only winning the World Cup can cure the heartbreak caused by losing the final of the Euros. Italy beat them in the final but failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup after they were beaten 1-0 by North Macedonia. He believes that 2022 has proven to be a year of progress that will culminate at the World Cup. Former FA chairman in 2013 had predicted that they would win the 2022 World Cup.
“In the end, that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’ve always been here for,” Gareth Southgate said talking about the World Cup. “That’s been a goal for five, six years since the chairman before the last set that goal. 2022 has always been in our mind as a development. We’ve hit the right markers on the lead-in to that. We know to win a tournament is so difficult and I think this is a really competitive one because there is any number of teams that are strong. We’re on the right path going towards that and in our heads, as a group, we know it’s the only thing that will really fulfill us.”
“We studied previous winners of major tournaments and we hit so many of the targets. At the end of last year, we were second top scorers in the world, goals-per-game, and we had the best defensive record, goals-per-game. So there are lots of things we do well which we have to continue to do,” he added. “In the big moments, there’s still a need to retain the ball better and be a bit braver in possession of the ball. We managed that well through most of the tournament, where there was huge pressure on every game for us as effective hosts. And then we were a little bit passive without the ball in the final, especially as the game wore on.”