At half-time in Spain’s World Cup clash, Spain were being gushed over by every pundit on the ITV panel. In particular, Graeme Souness took to wondering exactly why it was Spain were so much better than England. Little was he to know, six minutes into the second half, Japan would be in front.
La Roja had taken the lead against Japan through Alvaro Morata in the first half and were cruising going into half-time.
It led to Souness asking why England do not play more like Spain.
“Why are we not like that?!”
“That wins you World Cups and big competitions!”
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 1, 2022
Although he acknowledged that he was Scottish beforehand, it was not lost on many how strange it was that he later referred to English football as ‘we’.
While it would be crude to criticise Souness on the basis of the result, which finished 2-1 to Japan, it did seem typical of what many have perceived to a flaw in the English psyche regarding international football. Whenever a team has success, there tends to be a swing towards a the style of play that had the success rather than developing their own style.
It also ignores the fact that England have been to the semi-final of the World Cup and the final of Euros in their last two tournaments, a better record than that of Spain. While Luis Enrique’s side do play attractive football, and there is a general idea pervades through the national team, each coach adapts that to his needs too.
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