England World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst believes that there are similarities with current boss Gareth Southgate and Sir Alf Ramsey ahead of the Three Lions bow in the UEFA Nations League Finals.
Hurst sat down with beIN SPORTS for an exclusive sit down interview with presenter Angus Scott for the show Sir Geoff Hurst - One Of A Kind. In which World Cup final hat-trick hero speaks about his own eventful career and the current state of the England national team under Southgate.
The first order of business for Hurst was to compare Southgate to Sir Alf Ramsey the manager who led England all the way to their only World Cup in 1966.
“Fundamentally we had a great leader during our time that was Alf Ramsey. His selection of players was very, very good and we are now seeing that management with Gareth Southgate on a very similar basis.”
Whilst Southgate’s managerial style was underlined during the 2019 World Cup, by pushing England all the way to the semi-finals with, with an inclusive squad that aided the success of the team on the pitch.
“It was quite evident from looking at them play at the World Cup that the team spirit, the camaraderie, how they celebrated and how they addressed the cameras when they were speaking.”
Southgate has brought almost a club mentality to the national set-up harbouring good camaraderie, even if players have not had regular game time.
“It’s amazing we’ve got some of these players now that have hardly kicked a ball for their clubs and their straight into the national team, how that’s changes again dramatically.”
“Overall fundamentally the important issue for the success for the national team is the teamwork, team spirit and camaraderie and he seems to made it gel quite clearly, hence the performances of a young inexperienced team getting as far as they did in that World Cup.”
Looking past the Nations League finals, in which England face off against the Netherlands on Thursday evening Hurst believes that England has built foundations to credibly challenge for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“I always feel that we have a chance of being a success. Nothing more than the platform that we just set ourselves in the last 18 months. With a good young team that will only improve with success”
“Can we be successful here (in Qatar) absolutely, but first we’ve got to make sure we qualify.”
Hurst, 77 was also eager to praise the long term vision of the English FA in hiring a manager who had previous experience at U21 level, and noted how the success of international youth sides can only benefit the Three Lions in the future.
“I think the continuity of the FA with the young teams going well with the U17 & U19 and the fact that Gareth Southgate has worked with those young players not only seeing their ability but their character”
“We haven’t seen that kind of continuity for a long time. Where there is a progression from the teams and the people running those teams.”
Whilst Hurst also looked to the past to suggest that the future looks bright for England with their current managerial structure.
“When Ron Greenwood took over in 77 he appointed Bobby Robson as the B team manager and Terry Venables as the U23. What happened?”
“Bobby Robson got close in 90 and Terry Venables got close in 96 so that is continuity we are seeing today under Gareth Southgate’s reign. Having worked particularly with the younger players who are coming through to the national side, and that also bodes very well for the team.”
You can hear more from the England legend in Sir Geoff Hurst - One Of A Kind. Which is available via beIN CONNECT.