Robbie Savage claims Southgate’s reputation rests on Colombia game

Masterstroke or naive?

Former Premier League star Robbie Savage has admitted that the perception of the England manager could go either way ahead of the Colombia clash.

The England boss decided to rest his best players against Belgium on Thursday and that lead to them finishing second in Group G.

There was much talk leading up to the game that finishing second could lead to a better run to the World Cup final.

England will face Colombia in the next round instead of Japan who will face Belgium, but will face Switzerland or Sweden should the progress.

VOLGOGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 18: Raheem Sterling of England speaks with Gareth Southgate, Manager of England following being substituted during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between Tunisia and England at Volgograd Arena on June 18, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Could go either way

Now, Robbie Savage has had his say by explaining that should Southgate’s side beat Colombia it could be a masterstroke.

However, if they were to lose, Southgate would be given the same treatment as his England predecessors.

“If England beat Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday – and achieve only their third win in the knockout phase since 1990 – you would probably fancy them against Switzerland or Sweden in the quarter-finals,” he explained in his Daily Mirror column. 

“Southgate and his players would come home as superstars.

“But if they come unstuck yet again when the knockout stuff begins, England’s World Cup campaign will be a failure.

“Roy Hodgson made a raft of unforced changes against Slovakia at the Euros two years ago, and England were then hopeless when it mattered against Iceland.

“Please don’t tell me Southgate is going to go down the same road.

NIZHNY NOVGOROD, RUSSIA – JUNE 24: John Stones of England celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s fourth goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Panama at Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on June 24, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Gareth Southgate defends decision to rest key players v Belgium

The England boss has already had to defend his decision to rest those players against Roberto Martinez’s men.

Click here to see what he had to say. 

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