How well do you remember Gareth Southgate’s first England team?

first_img Southgate’s young and vibrant team are hungry and desperate to make amends for years of hurt. Gareth Southgate celebrates the victory over Sweden For the first time since 1990, England are in the semi-finals of the World Cup and will face Croatia on Wednesday at 7pm (a game you can hear live on talkSPORT).Although it is difficult to remember what life was like before ‘Three Lions’ was in the charts, there was constant sunshine or people just solely lived off barbecue food, it is amazing to think just how far the 47-year-old has taken the Three Lions.Appointed on an initial interim basis in October 2016, the former Middlesbrough boss was seen as an ‘FA yes man’ who had only ever taken Boro down to the Championship.However, his tactical insight and measured approach has taken England to the brink of an historic World Cup Final – their first since the heroes of 1966.But just how did the journey start? Here looks back at Gareth Southgate’s first game in charge of England back in October 2016. Gareth Southgate watches on as Dele Alli takes control 4 Football has well and truly gripped the nation once again, and there is one man to thank for it all.Gareth Southgate, the well-mannered and sharply-dressed England boss, is on a one-man mission to bring football home. After Sam Allardyce was sacked as England boss, Southgate was charged with taking the Three Lions through their European World Cup qualifying group.Facing a side that was ranked 176th by FIFA at the time, the Maltese opposition were only interested really in damage limitation.After being dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland, English fans were not exactly desperate to cram into Wembley either – so the game was a bit of a no-contest.Goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli sealed all three points for England in a 2-0 win. Check out the starting XI from the team that day below! Southgate wearing the waistcoat long before everyone else thought it was cool. It’s fair to say the progression under Southgate has been nothing short of incredible.Adopting a rather predictable 4-2-3-1 formation, the Three Lions were cumbersome on the ball and easy to play against.Joe Hart and Wayne Rooney (captain on the day) were still permanent fixtures in the squad, while Jesse Lingard made his international debut on the wing.Fast forward to July 2018 and just look at how far we have come. 4 4 4 The starting XI who beat Sweden 2-0 in Saturday’s quarter-final emphasises a complete turnaround, not just in personnel, but also in philosophy.With several stars still keeping their places and Harry Kane now captaining the side, there is a solid spine throughout the squad.Added to that, the emergence of the likes of Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire and Kieran Trippier has meant Southgate has rejuvenated Englsih football.And he may just potentially be about to bring it home.last_img