England v Spain: Gareth Southgate’s last stand

Written by Ese Agboaye

Tuesday will see England play their final game under Gareth Southgate before the FA make a decision on whether to give him the job on a full-time basis or not.
With the Under-21’s in mind, Southgate says he’d like to know whether he has got the job by the end of November, and or the middle of December.

Let’s focus on the match itself though. Southgate has not included Harry Kane for this match, as he [Kane] will be looking regain fitness, following injury. That leaves the likes of Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Theo Walcott, Marcus Rashford, and Jamie Vardy to fill in the striker role as no replacement was named. I would imagine Sturridge would start. Speaking of Sturridge, he has recently come out and said that criticism of him is unjust. Having sustained injuries, coupled with falling behind the pecking order at Liverpool, he went to say that criticism doesn’t faze him. He also vocalised that scoring is a part of his game, but it’s more about the team, rather than himself.

Little known 17 year old Dylan Duncan of Tottenham Hotspur has been called up to train with the senior squad, as there are only 19 fit players. Rooney, and Ryan Bertrand missed training through injury, but I highly doubt their injuries are a cause for concern.
Southgate has thanked the fans for supports, alluding that the supporters are “the best in the world”.

England will need to up their game on Tuesday, having missed chances in an otherwise comprehensive 3-0 win on Friday. I expect Spain to play with more flair than Scotland. That’s no disrespect to Scotland.

Friendlies such as this are where teams can choose to send players back to their respective clubs, and relax a bit (although not too much, as friendlies still have to be taken seriously).

Spain are fresh from beating Macedonia 4-0 at the weekend, and will want to cap off 2016 with a win. Should England lose, I don’t think it’ll hamper Southgate’s chances of being hired, as knee jerk reactions always prove to be costly. The FA should take their time, and think carefully about whether he should be appointed. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be appointed, or he’s the wrong choice, but I don’t think it’s a decision that should be rushed.
Like England, Spain have also picked up 10 points from four matches, so on paper, this is pretty much an even match.

Diego Costa misses this match, having also missed the match against Macedonia though injury.

Seeing as only pride is at stake here, I reckon a draw is a fair result. Although, I wouldn’t push the panic button, and dismiss Southgate’s chances, should England lose. Football IS a results based business, we all know that, but a loss on Tuesday wouldn’t damage Southgate’s reputation.

What are your predictions for the game? Should it decide whether Southgate gets the job? Let us know in the comments below!

featured image by philosophy football