WHEN Gareth Southgate first took charge of England, he stated he loved the sport but disliked much about the football industry.
We understood exactly what he meant and our hearts gladdened.
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Southgate, we assume, doesn’t like England’s five richest clubs holding clandestine meetings about breakaway European super leagues.
Or Manchester City allegedly threatening Uefa with the expensiveness of their lawyers.
He probably doesn’t care much for Alexis Sanchez being introduced as a Manchester United player as a concert pianist on a social media film noir, before the Chilean started trousering £500,000-a-week to score four goals in a year.
Nor John Terry staging his own substitution in the 26th minute of his final match for Chelsea — 26 being his sacred shirt number — and a Premier League match being halted for his guard of honour.
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We assumed Southgate disliked the entitlement, egotism and PR twaddle which is so much of the modern football industry.
And so he built an England team which was hungry and rootsy and authentic and likeable and far away from the empty excesses of the failed Golden Generation.
Not just that, but his England team reached the World Cup semi-finals and, in their most recent outing, stuffed Spain away.
Southgate said there would be no easy caps and everything he did spoke of a quiet determination to draw a line under the phonyism and cronyism of the Sven-Goran Eriksson era, which he had experienced first hand as a player.