Former England manager hails Gareth Southgate for injecting youth into the new-look side
Sam Allardyce has hailed his England successor Gareth Southgate for transforming England into a young and exciting side ahead of the World Cup.
Southgate has rebuilt the Three Lions since his appointment in 2016, taking the reins when Allardyce resigned after just one game in charge.
He inherited a team still reeling from their disastrous Euro 2016 campaign earlier that year – one that lacked a spark and was devoid of confidence.
But he has rejuvenated the side in preparation for the World Cup, injecting the Three Lions with youth and giving a number of in-form players their chance on the international stage.
Jordan Pickford, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier are among the players to have been handed England debuts by Southgate, and they are now on their way to Russia as part of the Three Lions’ World Cup squad.
Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Allardyce said: “Gareth made some brave decisions and I’m really pleased they’ve brought young players into the team.
“They’ve put them in when they’ve needed to and the players have stood up and been counted.
“I think, across the board, it’s given England a lot of good options.
“When I saw the ten changes for the second warm-up game against Costa Rica, I think it stands them in good stead that all the players have gone on the pitch and performed.
“At some stage in the three group games he’ll need to change the team and tactically that will be a very big decision.
“He’ll get criticised if he doesn’t change it and he’ll be criticised if he does and they don’t get the right result.
“But I think Gareth has got a lot of options to change the side around in Russia.”
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