“I want to make England the best team in the world,” says Gareth Southgate. He stresses that there is no room for “sloppiness” as they try to finish their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign on a high note.
England plays North Macedonia on Monday in Skopje. If they win, they will almost certainly be one of the top seeds in next month’s draw for the finals in Germany.
But their 2-0 win over Malta at Wembley on Friday was poor, and they will want to do better against North Macedonia, who they beat 7-0 at Old Trafford in June.
“Qualification is done,” England’s manager told the British press before the last game in Group C.
We may be ranked third in the world right now (England is ranked fourth in the most recent FIFA rankings), but we need to make sure we don’t waste games because we’re still two spots behind where we need to be.
“Some of the players have got three games to get into a squad, some have got maybe three to get into a team.”
Southgate said that every time the team played, they had to be “spot on.”
Who won the World Cup? First place goes to Argentina, then to France, and finally to Brazil. English has been in the top five for five years in a row.
Southgate was asked if being number one motivates him. He replied, “Yeah, because you get there by being consistent, and you also have to play well in tournaments because that nets you more ranking points.”
“On top of that, it sets habits every day on and off the training pitch.”
“If you want to be the best team, you can’t be careless or sloppy any longer.” That must be what drives us.”
England’s last camp of the year has been messed up by people who can’t make it.
Five players had to drop out of the original team because they were hurt, and two more players quit before they went to the Balkans.
The Football Association said that Kieran Trippier had left the camp because of a personal matter. On Sunday, Jarrod Bowen had to leave because of an illness.