Today has been Waistcoat Wednesday in honour of England’s World Cup quarter-final success, and football fevered national loyalty even had the BBC presenters this morning wearing Manager Gareth Southgate’s trademark clothes of blue waistcoat and striped tie. Even I, as a non-fan of football, have got carried away with the enthusiasm and the potential for a big win that would give us all a much needed boost to our national confidence. I’ve even found myself skimming the sports supplements in my weekend newspapers when I usually toss them straight into the recycling bin!  I read about how Gareth’s supportive wife is his secret weapon.

Have you noticed there is something different about this team? Who would ever have expected to hear the words football and emotional intelligence in the same sentence?! 

So calm and cool and confident is manager Southgate that there was media gossip of him been roped in to take over Brexit talks. Now there’s a thought! Southgate is definitely bringing something different to the game. He has been a poster boy for empathy and is allowing players to make individual comments directly to the press. A younger team with fewer ego heroes, they have been told them that it is up to them to make their own history. Southgate values family life and and the support it has given him so has allowed the team to bring their families with them. This has fostered a relaxed community spirit among the whole group. Surely that is a better foundation for any high pressure, stressful sports challenge.  Everybody’s been referring to the spirit of the team, the relaxed attitude, the importance of joy and the strong bonds within the team. Gareth says they feel privileged. Words to describe their opposing team of Croatia by their Manager are more about their strength and determination. Let’s see what helps win tonight’s match, will it be this younger relaxed team or the determined Croations? Good luck lads .. oh and may of them have a connection with Yorkshire. Just saying’.

See you on the other side of the Match?