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02nd Jul 2018

Jesse Lingard full of praise for Gareth Southgate leading England ‘revolution’

Something feels different about this England team

Reuben Pinder

This England side is not like recent teams

While everyone is claiming that football is indeed coming home, some more tongue-in-cheekly than others, it is undeniable that there is something different about this England team. They’re actually enjoyable to watch.

Nobody quite knows how to react, as we have become so accustomed to the drab 1-0 wins over countries with a population of under a million people and humiliating defeats in World Cups.

But something has changed. There is an optimism in the air that this time we won’t exit the World Cup so embarrassingly, we might even go all the way.

Jesse Lingard, a key player in the current England side, has hailed Gareth Southgate’s England ‘revolution’.

“It feels like a new revolution. The manager has come in with great ideas, great ideas in the way he wants us to play. The formation suits us perfectly,” Lingard said.

“As a group of lads, it is a young squad but we still have those experienced players in there and the team spirit is amazing at the moment. We are excited and enjoying the World Cup,” he said.

Southgate’s tactical experimentation that ended up with England lining up in a 3-5-2 formation has allowed both Lingard and Dele Alli to flourish side by side. The pair are almost certain to start together again in Tuesday’s round of 16 tie against Colombia, after Dele Alli missed two games with a thigh strain and first teamers were rested for the dead rubber against Belgium.

Asked whether much thought had gone into which side of the draw England ended up on, Lingard said:

“No. Obviously we are going to have to play the big teams sooner rather than later, and if you want to be the best team in the world, you’ve got to beat the big teams. So we’re not really fussed which side we are on.”