Gareth Southgate says England started penalty shootout practice ahead of the Winter World Cup.
After beating Colombia on kicks in the 2018 tournament and winning bronze in the Nations League final the following year with a penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland, the Three Lions suffered too much heartache. familiar last summer.
Southgate, who missed the key kick in the Euro 96 semi-final loss to Germany, oversaw England’s atrocious penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in the final of the European Championship at Wembley.
The former defender has repeatedly underlined his belief that penalty success is a matter of skill rather than luck, which is why they started training ahead of the World Cup kick-off in November.
“We went into various details with which players we can improve on to become world champions,” Southgate said.
“We didn’t have the opportunity to do it in such detail in the fall because we had to focus directly on qualifying, so we thought this camp was a good time to start. Penalties were one of them.
“Obviously, in terms of regular penalty takers for their club, we really only have Harry Kane, James Ward-Prowse.
“(Marcus) Rashford would have been in terms of penalty volume second in number but Bruno Fernandes is their normal penalty taker (from Manchester United) and when we played Italy their top five had taken more 40 penalties in competitive games. Kane is at that level and Marcus is next at 20.
“So we’ll have to look at that differently than just accepting that they’re going to train at their clubs and they can come in and that’s the challenge we’ve set ourselves with individual work.
“We think it’s the right thing to do and, yeah, it looks like they might think it’s a bit early to do it, but basically if you take out matchdays and the day after a game, you’re probably talking about 20 training days from now until this situation happens in a knockout stage. Southgate wouldn’t share details, saying: “This situation has been difficult enough as it is. without (telling) the rest of the world what we are doing”.
The England boss says the team are analyzing everything they can to progress ahead of Qatar.
“We’ve been consistently top five in the world for the last three or four years,” he said. “We want to go further, but there are people on our heels. That’s how it’s going to be.
“We have to make sure that we are aware of everything and open-minded enough to anything that could make us better.”