Southgate has been Stateside this week as part of a Leaders in Sport gathering and he has also visited the Minnesota Vikings’ new practice facility, as well as attending Saturday’s NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Pelicans.
On Sunday the Three Lions boss will be at U.S. Bank Stadium to see if New England can defeat the Philadelphia Eagles and win a sixth Super Bowl title in 17 years.
Speaking to Press Association Sport on the eve of the 52nd Super Bowl, Southgate said: “I think it’s always difficult to go against people with big match experience in finals.
“My experience of finals is that there’s a level of performance that you’re capable of hitting and very often people think you’ve got to find a level above that to win a final, and actually getting as close to your normal level as possible is normally enough because people freeze on big occasions or the distractions of the whole week are detrimental to the performance.
“Normally those guys with the big-match experience that have been through it, it’s a big, big advantage.
“I don’t know what Philadelphia have in their camp to be able to deal with that but for me, that’s why it’s hard to go against the Patriots really.”
Southgate, 47, developed an interest in the NFL watching it on Channel 4 when he was growing up and remembers being enthralled by the Los Angeles Raiders running back Marcus Allen and the great 1985 Chicago Bears team.
His current role’s demands make keeping track of the NFL more difficult but he has watched on with intrigue as the Patriots have returned to the Super Bowl despite a report, dismissed by the team, that there has been a growing rift between head coach Bill Belichick and 40-year-old quarterback Tom Brady.
“What’s clear is that anybody that wins continually, it’s one of the hardest things to do in sport – to win anyway but to win after winning and keep the organisation hungry,” Southgate said of Belichick.
“The level of detail he works at is clear. It’s interesting following the storyline with him and Brady this year, maybe (the relationship) isn’t quite as close.
“That’s always fascinating because Brady’s 40 now so at some point he’s going to have to leave the scene. How that’s all managed for any coach is an interesting case, I think.”
However, Brady, who was named 2017’s Most Valuable Player on Saturday evening, has no plans to retire imminently having shown he can continue to be elite even at 40.
He has revealed his secrets to maintaining such levels, including pliability exercises and tech-enabled sleepwear, also writing a book titled ‘The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance’.
Yet Southgate thinks Brady will be a unique example across sports of someone able to carry on into their 40s.
“If anything you’d say that even though medical science and fitness is improving, that the level of the hits in a lot of sports mean that players will play for less time,” the England boss explained.
“To have the physical capability to do it and the hunger and the desire to still keep going is incredible really. I’m not sure you’d see many of his like.”
— Super Bowl (@SuperBowl) February 4, 2018
Provided by Press Association Sport
Every weekend we pick out one player under the age of 23 from around Europe and analyse their performance to provide you with an in-depth scouting report.
As the new generation begin to make their mark, the big clubs start to be linked with an interest and that’s certainly been the case with Germany and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.
Liverpool and Real Madrid are known admirers and so for those fans looking to know more, we examine the 21-year-old’s display in his 50th Bundesliga game as Leipzig travelled to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Goals – 0
Assists – 0
Shots – 5
Shots on target – 0
Touches – 47
Passes – 24
Aerials won – 0
Key passes – 0
Dribbles – 0
Dispossessed – 0
Despite being just 21 years old, Werner has now racked up 50 Bundesliga games with the milestone reached in Leipzig’s narrow win.
His emergence over the last two seasons has alerted virtually every European heavyweight and the Germany forward showed glimpses of his knockout ability.
At international level, Werner offers the reigning World Cup champions something they’ve seldom possessed – pace and energy.
His movement is cerebral and despite beginning the game as Leipzig’s spearhead in a front trio, Werner showed a willingness to drive into wide positions.
He had his opportunities, however, and it shouldn’t have been left to substitute Ademola Lookman to find a winner. Werner’s finishing in the early part of his career was always pretty average and despite improving to score 31 goals in his 50 league appearances, he lacked composure to add to that on Saturday.
Movement – As mentioned above, Werner’s biggest strength is his speed and he put that to good use against Gladbach to really pressure the Gladbach back four from all three forward positions. With or without the ball he was eagerly attempting to disrupt the host’s defence.
Energy – Werner doesn’t stop moving. Even when chances are missed, he doesn’t let it negate his desire to make an impact. His dribbling skills aren’t exactly anything to shout about but his vivacity kept defenders on edge.
Shot accuracy – Only Marcel Sabitzer managed more shots on goal but Werner was off target with all five of his efforts. And there were at least two occasions he should have at least hit the target.
Passing – Granted, it’s not what he’s in the team to do but when he’s forced to give up the ball, his passing is far from crisp. He attempted the least amount of passes (24) from Leipzig’s starting XI and still only managed to find his man with 87 percent of those.
32nd min SHOT: Marcel Sabitzer scurries down and the right and he centres the ball to Werner who does well to drop his shoulder to find space for the shot only to balloon his effort well over.
35th min LINK-UP: Fluid movement as Werner is found in the left channel, he drives inside and finds Sabitzer but the Austrian can’t quite find space on the edge of the box and is crowded off the ball.
49th min SHOT: Drifting in from the right, Werner attacks the box and is found by Naby Keita but his first-time shot takes a deflection and goes out for a corner.
59th min CROSS: Kevin Kampl squirms out of trouble near the right corner flag, he feeds the ball to Werner who whips a gorgeous cross just in front of Sippel but Bruma can’t find a connection.
61st minute CHANCE: A swift counter-attack and Sabitzer surgically opens up the Gladbach defence for the onrushing Bruma, he squares for Werner and the ball is slightly behind the German. He swivels to find space but the ball has left his grasp and is cleared.
65th minute CHANCE: Should have scored. Werner peels off the back post from Kampl’s deep free-kick but he can’t direct his header down and it sails over the bar. Good chance.
His dynamic style of play is an attractive one for any potential suitors but Werner’s finishing still requires some work.
While he’s made massive strides in that department but the 21-year-old doesn’t display the same level of composure as say Robert Lewandowski – and that comparison is apt because he could one day reach that elite level.
Not on Saturday, though.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
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