England manager Gareth Southgate reflects on defeat to Germany
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Mar 29, 2017,
Mar 29, 2017, 2:02
Lukas Podolski will captain injury-hit Germany on his farewell worldwide appearance in Wednesday's friendly against England, head coach Joachim Loew has confirmed.
Southgate, 46, had been undefeated in four games as interim manager following Sam Allardyce's abrupt departure past year. Collecting substitute Andre Schurrle's one-touch pass ten yards from the England penalty area, Podolski took a touch to steady himself and with nobody closing him down, let loose with a venomous shot.
Lukas Podolski scores on a rocket vs. England in last game with Germany.
"It was an incredible strike, but from (goalkeeper) Joe Hart's point of view it was pretty unstoppable", admitted Southgate.
Southgate deployed an experimental 3-4-3 formation and the visitors looked comfortable in Germany as centre-back Michael Keane made his full senior debut, while James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond made appearances off the bench.
England forward Jamie Vardy was giving the home defense plenty of problems but it was midfielder Adam Lallana who nearly fired the visitors ahead on 31 minutes.
The former Bayern Munich and Arsenal forward captained his country on the occasion of his 130th and final cap and blasted in the only goal of the game - his 49th for Germany - in the second half to give Joachim Low's side the win. "The way that worked and their ability to adapt quickly was excellent and, until the goal, I thought we were the better side".
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Now sitting two points clear at the top of their World Cup qualifying group, England are expected to seal their spot at Russian Federation 2018, but the expectation levels from fans could be at an all-time low after being humiliated at the last two major tournaments.
"We couldn't train on the field too many times, but we were able to walk through it in meetings and on the tactics board".
Southgate also got the chance to give Michael Keane his chance on the global stage, and the young defender did not disappoint.
"We haven't got the win which we would have liked, but I think people can see the commitment of the players in the way that they played".
"I didn't want to leave not having found out about a different option with the system, which we've definitely done".
The Three Lions, playing in their new navy blue kit for the first time, began the first half positively and while the hosts were just about ahead in the possession stats, England looked risky on the counter. I decided on the system six weeks ago after watching Germany.
"We won 1-0 and I scored the victor. It's very exciting for what we can do moving forward". Yet England did not look willing to oblige during a first half when they had enough opportunities to reflect they ought to have made at least one count.