Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has praised his England counterpart Gareth Southgate ahead of their sides World Cup Group G clash on Thursday night.
English football was at an all time low when Southgate took over as Three Lions boss in November 2017 after Sam Allardyce was sacked in disgrace as part of newspaper sting in which the former Everton boss gave undercover journalists advice on how to contravene Premier League rules on third party ownership.
Big Sam’s predecessor Roy Hodgson had of course also guided England to a humiliating European Championship exit at the hands of minnows Iceland in 2016.
Southgate, who had previously worked as his Country’s U21 coach has been heavily praised for instilling a sense of togetherness and belief in his young England squad and they have got their World Cup of to a terrific start by winning their two opening games and securing their place in the knockout stages.
“I’m on the outside looking in. But what I see is Gareth has brought all his success from under 21 level, knowing the house inside out and using the power of St George’s Park.
“He developed an England culture, not throwing them together and hoping for performances.
“There’s a clear structure, a real tactical system. He found a system that suits this generation. There’s youth about them, belief, real desire, incredible satisfaction every time they score a goal. It’s down to Gareth Southgate.
“But I’m not surprised. He’s a thinker, a very meticulous work and I wish him the best of luck after tomorrow.”
Belgium and England meet tonight to see who will go through as Group G winners, with the winner set to play … and the runner will meet … in the last 16.