England qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in style when they thrashed Albania and San Marino 5-0 and 10-0 respectively. As usual, the hype is likely to be high around the Three Lions, and Gareth Southgate will be aiming to bring home the first major trophy since 1966. But is this going to be achievable? What did we learn from the latest qualifiers?
England Hype Will be Sky High
England players always have to deal with overly optimistic fans who are ultimately let down towards the latter stages of a tournament. In recent years, though, Southgate has given his nation good cause to believe that his players can go all the way in a major competition. They made it to the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and then finished as runners-up in Euro 2020. The next logical step would be a trophy, wouldn’t it?
Entertainment companies that aim to attract Three Lions supporters are likely to increase the hype. Betting sites usually have special offers for punters who want to bet on the teams, and this could be coupled with an online casino offering new slots for players to spin to stir up some exciting emotions. There are already several sports-themed slots out there, such as Football Stars and Football Rules, so a Three Lions-themed option wouldn’t look out of place at all.
Other popular football game developers like EA Sports may also try to jump on the England train to market their games to players in the country. If the developer opts to release a Qatar World Cup special edition as it usually does, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a player like Harry Kane as the cover star.
Southgate Seems to be Settled on System
During his tenure as England boss, Southgate has toyed with a couple of different approaches. In the Euros, he favored a 3-4-3 system. However, he only used this formation in two games during the 2020 World Cup, preferring to line his players up in a 4-2-3-1 most of the time. The latter option is preferred by fans, as it allows for more attackers on the pitch. It seems that the manager is now favoring the former approach, though, as this enables him to bring one of either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Reece James in as a right wingback with Kyle Walker then dropping into a back three.
Southgate implemented the 3-4-3 system in the two latest qualifying matches, meaning that it is likely that he will stick with it at the World Cup. It also makes sense to use this formation as Antonio Conte will be drilling it at Tottenham Hotspur. That means that Kane will be taught to play in the formation by one of the world’s best managers, and it could lead the captain to become even more of a weapon in the upcoming tournament.
With Southgate making huge leaps forward during his time as England boss, there is good reason for the hype around England to be sky-high. As the build-up to the massive competition continues, it would be fair to expect more games and merchandise featuring the Three Lions to be released.