Southgate: 'England not centre of universe'

Manager Gareth Southgate believes England must shed their narrow-mindedness on the Premier League being the centre of the universe.

England manager Gareth Southgate   -  Getty Images

Gareth Southgate has warned England to broaden its horizons beyond the Premier League if the team is to challenge on the international stage.

Since winning the World Cup in 1966, England has struggled at major tournaments, only progressing beyond the quarterfinals once at Euro 1996.

England was embarrassingly knocked out of Euro 2016 by minnow Iceland in the last 16, when Roy Hodgson was in charge.

Southgate — now full-time manager after permanently replacing Sam Allardyce — believes England must shed its narrow-mindedness on the Premier League being the centre of the universe if it is to compete with the elite.

"I always say being an island saved us in 1945, I'm not so sure it's helped us ever since. You guys travel around Europe and around the world and see those big clubs, work in those big matches and other sporting events, you have a broader perspective of it," Southgate said as he prepares England for an international friendly against rivals Germany on Wednesday before hosting Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier four days later.

"Sometimes within the game we don't do that. Joe Hart as an example has had a brilliant experience [at Torino], he's taken a hell of a lot from seeing another league, living abroad, broadened his horizons, recognises some of the things he had that he hasn't now got in terms of training facilities. I think he'll come back a more mature goalkeeper and a more mature person.

"I think we've got to broaden the horizons because the lads see one league, they see Sky Sports News, they think we're the centre of the earth and we're not. That's what hit me.

"I'm so used to watching the yellow ticker going round then I'm sat in Brazil [in 2014 when England were left out of a highlights montage of previous tournaments] and I'm not seeing us. It was quite a stark reality of where we are.

"Other countries are quite happy to say nice things to us and then they pack us off home at a certain stage [of a tournament] and think, 'Good, we've got rid of them'. That's how it feels to me and I don't like it."

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