England need to learn lessons from Chelsea, insists Southgate

Former England defender Gareth Southgate has said the current national team need to look at what Chelsea achieved in winning the Champions League last season and how they did it if they want to be successful at Euro 2012, ITV.com has reported.

Southgate is now head of player development at the Football Association as well as a pundit for ITV, and said that the tactics employed by interim Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo should be replicated by Roy Hodgson during this summer’s tournament. Southgate pointed to England’s propensity to give up possession cheaply as evidence a counter-attacking style should be the order of the day.

He said: “How did Chelsea get through against Barcelona (in the Champions League semi-final)? In certain games you have to accept the opposition might get more of the ball so that tends to dictate what you do with your selection.” Southgate also rejected the suggestion that setting up a team to frustrate the opposition and allow your opponents plenty of the ball is a negative approach.

The former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender played 57 times for England between 1995 and 2004, competing at Euro 96, World Cup 98 and Euro 2000, missing the decisive penalty against Germany in the semi-final shootout at the first of those competitions.

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