In this series of tactical previews for Qatar World Cup 2022 the time has now come for tacticof to look at Southgate England tactics. Last time he looked at the defending champions Didier Deschamps’ France tactics, but now the eternal question comes … can England take up the fight against Brazil, France or even Belgium to become world champions?
This tactical preview will give you a better idea of England’s tactics and Southgate’s preferred playing style for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. For further information about Southgate’s Manager profile please head over to tacticof.com.
It’s Coming Home?!
England is entering the Qatar 2022 World Cup with a fourth place in their bag as they lost to Belgium 2-0 in the previous tournament – what would be their best achievement since 1990. We have to go all the way back to 1966 since England won their first, and last World Cup 2022 trophy.
For the once who brag about inventing the sport, it must finally be the time to announce “it’s coming home”!
At least that’s what we hope Gareth Southgate and his magnificent crop of talents can achieve at Qatar 2022. With the perfect mix of extraordinary English wonderkids & talents and experienced legends like Harry Kane, everything looks promising.
In Group B, England will face USA, Iran and the last winner of the European Play-Offs, either Scotland, Wales or Ukraine. England, the 5th-placed team in the FIFA ranking, are not only the clear favorites to promote regardless of the final group composition, but also one of the tournament’s favorites .
Let’s take a look at Gareth Southgate England Tactics in Football Manager 2022 to see what we can expect from them in the coming World Cup tournament.
A closer look at Southgate England Tactics in Football Manager 2022
Formation & Shape
England under Gareth Southgate play a steady 1-4-3-3, switching occasionally to a more defensive 1-4-2-3-1 or offensive 1-3-4-3. Southgate prefers careful play at the back over attack, looking for opportunities to intercept the ball and launch quick counter-attacks.
In defense Southgate’s team often line up 1-4-5-1 or 1-4-2-3-1 with Mount playing as high as Kane. Pressing is high and quite risky, so the extra task for the fast fullbacks is to secure the central defenders. The midfield is quite compact and tight, but they leave a lot of space for their rivals on the wings.
England construct their actions from the back quite slowly and very carefully using plenty of safe passing options at the expense of progress forward, but this is done with a very high rotation. The rotations involve not only the flanks, where the wingers go deeper to get the ball, but also in the middle, where all central midfielders are tasked with going higher and crossing the lines into more offensive positions. Central midfielders (Mount, Rice, Phillips) are responsible for vary the tempo of the game and find options to play out the action, although it is the left wing (Sterling, Shaw, Grealish) that has a fairly obvious advantage over the right wing.
In the offensive third speed of play is the priority, hence the large number of first-touch combinations, small space play and free-space passes to flank from where a return pass usually goes into the front of the box to running partners. There are not many crosses.
Although it is Harry Kane who plays a key role in moving the game into the offensive third, the key for the English offense is the rotations on the flanks. Moving from a 1-4-3-3 to a 1-3-4-3 formation Southgate positions an extra player at the back which not only deepens the ball playing zone and increases passing options in the middle, but also frees up the wings. In this variant the extra midfielder actively supports the offensive action but is also the first presser in the middle of the field when the ball is lost, which with the wingers slightly deeper gives us an unusual 1-5-4-1 in defense.
This system also allows Southgate to make a fluid transition from 4 to 3 defenders by having the 10 (Mount or Grealish) often act as a third midfielder playing higher up in the formation. Right WB is then moved into the role of right winger.