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Southgate’s Vision: England’s Ambition for World No. 1 Ahead of North Macedonia Clash

by: EdwardB


Gareth Southgate, at the helm of England’s national football team, has voiced England’s ambition to claim the top spot of the FIFA world rankings. Despite a less-than-convincing victory over Malta, England’s recent triumph in securing the top spot in Euro 2024 qualifying Group C positions them favorably for Pot 1 in the tournament draw. As they prepare to take on North Macedonia, deemed a dead rubber, Southgate underscores the significance of England’s ambition, emphasizing the need for unwavering high-level performances to reach their goal.

Raising Standards: Southgate Calls for Peak Performance

Southgate acknowledges that while qualification is secured, the journey to becoming the world’s best team requires unwavering excellence. With England currently ranked fourth by FIFA, Southgate challenges his players to maintain a high level of performance in every match. The upcoming game against North Macedonia, although a dead rubber, serves as an opportunity for players to stake their claim for a spot in the Euros squad and contribute to England’s rise in the rankings.

The Drive for No. 1: Consistency and Behaviors

Southgate reveals that the desire to be the top-ranked team serves as a driving force. Consistency, both on and off the pitch, becomes the key to achieving the coveted No. 1 spot. The manager emphasizes the importance of avoiding complacency and casualness, setting behaviors that align with the team’s ambition.

Looking Ahead: Future Prospects and Distractions

As England approaches their final qualifier before Southgate’s contract expires next year, speculation about his future adds an extra layer of significance. While Southgate downplays the distraction, he remains focused on immediate challenges, expressing a need for improved performances and deflecting discussions about the Euros to the appropriate time.

Challenges and Pride: Navigating Absences and Facing North Macedonia

As England faces a depleted squad against North Macedonia, Southgate acknowledges the challenges posed by injuries and withdrawals. With a sold-out Tose Proeski Arena awaiting, Southgate anticipates a spirited opposition eager to avenge their previous defeat. The manager emphasizes the importance of being prepared for a challenging atmosphere and aims to end the calendar year on a positive note.

Assessing Priorities: Southgate’s Focus in the Dead Rubber

With Euro 2024 qualification secured, the game against North Macedonia serves as an opportunity for Southgate to evaluate specific aspects. In this dead rubber, Southgate looks to address unresolved issues and assess player performances, setting the stage for further improvements in the lead-up to the tournament.

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