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Gareth Southgate wants an England revolution but he's fighting 50 years of ingrained mediocrity

England
England are put through their paces by England manager Gareth Southgate last year Credit: getty images

There is a revolutionary stirring in Gareth Southgate and for the first time in a long time, here is an England manager who is not afraid to call the performance of the national team over the past 50 years as it is, that being a general embarrassment to a country with delusions of grandeur.

He says it came to him at a conference in Brazil in 2014 when he watched a video montage of World Cup highlights and realised that someone had dropped England from the edit altogether. Not even a throw-in, or a successfully defended corner, or a commendably straight pre-match line for the anthems.

One can imagine as the last bars of Elbow’s One Day Like This faded in the conference hall speakers and the lights went up, the new England manager was left staring in disbelief at the darkening screen.

Southgate recalled this moment at St George’s Park this week, a place where every annex, corridor and meeting...

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