Repino — The Premier League has long been a scapegoat for England’s below-par performances at major tournaments, but manager Gareth Southgate says he has benefited from close study of the tactics used by the league’s foreign coaches. England start their World Cup campaign against Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday with a formation Southgate believes will play to their strengths. "We’ve got some of the best coaches working in our league so there are some fascinating ideas," Southgate said. "The season has been a great contrast of styles and philosophies." Much has been made of the impact of Manchester City’s Spanish coach, Pep Guardiola, on players like Kyle Walker, John Stones and Raheem Sterling, but Southgate’s system owes more to the approach of Italian coach Antonio Conte at Chelsea. The London club won the league in 2017 playing with three central defenders, two advanced wingbacks, a central striker and a floating winger/ striker in Eden Hazard. That is essentially the formula Sout...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now