England won’t improve unless they test themselves against very best, insists Gareth Southgate


Gareth Southgate would rather Englandpit their wits against the best than play the system to secure World Cup seeding.

A report this week outlined how FIFA’s ranking system works against teams that play a lot of friendlies, especially if they lose them.

England’s decision to test themselves against the world’s best makes that all the more likely and leaves them 13th in the world rankings, meaning they are set to miss out on seeding for Russia next summer.

FIFA has admitted it will review its ranking system after the qualifying tournaments for 2018 World Cup are finished, but Southgate does not intend to change approach regardless.

“I get it but, for us, and we’ve talked about this as a group of staff sort of strategically, the option is we pick some strategically positioned opponents and try and boost our ranking or we test ourselves against the very best which is what we need to do,” the England boss said. “How are we going to improve? How do we find out the level we are really at, if we don’t?


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