Sven: Southgate must avoid the English media during the World Cup

The former England manager says Southgate needs to cut the English media coverage out of his life while the team are still in the tournament...

When Gareth Southgate was appointed England manager, I was happy for him, of course – but I don’t think it was a great surprise, because he was working in the Football Association with the younger national teams.

Of course, he does not have a lot of experience of top tier football – Premier League or others – but The FA know him from his work with the youth teams.

I think they made a good choice and, so far, he’s done a very good job.

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Gareth has been the way he is since he was a player. I never heard him shouting or arguing heavily with the other players. He was the man who was thinking a lot, even as a player, and always very calm. That’s the way he is, and he must stay true to that.

I know a lot of managers are very calm, and I know a lot of managers who are the opposite. So I don’t think you can say one way is right or wrong, it’s up to his personality.

I am a calm person – Gareth is like that, too.

You never know what kind of problems you will have during the World Cup as manager. The only thing you know for sure is, when you take that job, at some stage, you will have problems, because you will not win every football game, and you will not play extremely good football in every match, and then you will be criticised.

But that’s part of the job. The only advice I can give to Gareth is: during your whole time as England manager – and especially during the World Cup – don’t look at English TV, listen to the radio, or read the press. You can do it after the tournament if you want.

Football players want things to happen. Of course, a normal week for a player when he’s at this club, is you train five or six times, you go home and you have your family and friends.

In a big tournament, it’s different. You don’t go home to your family, to your wife and children, or whatever it is. You have to stay with the others.

It’s different for the players. So it’s important, as manager, you give the players a chance to do other things outside of football. To forget football for two or three hours.

But the Football Association are very good at that, especially those who have been in tournaments before. They help you to organise shopping, fishing, go and get a coffee, etc.

Whatever it is, that’s an important part of the tournament, because the players have to stay together for four, five, six weeks.

During the tournament you have to do whatever you can to keep those players not playing happy. Because those playing more or less every game are full of the preparation. Those maybe not playing many minutes need to be kept happy.

In terms of the WAGs, it’s totally up to the players if they want to take their family. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t want the distractions, or if it’s because it’s Russia as a country, but for many of the players, especially those with children, it’s too long to be away from them. I don’t think it’s fair.

It benefits the players mentally to see their families.

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What do you think?