Gareth Southgate focuses on psychology to give England edge | World Cup 2022

Gareth Southgate delivered the line with a smile. “We’ve had to get through Qatari politics, Iranian politics … and a bit of tactical work on the pitch.” What the England manager wanted to say more explicitly was obvious.

After all the controversies which have overshadowed this World Cup it was time for him and his players to embrace the reason why they are here. And while sensitive to the various issues, none of them ought to be embarrassed or conflicted about feeling a surge of excitement before Monday’s tournament opener against Iran.

If there is a recognition that Iran could be…


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