Gareth Southgate Could Take A Page Out Of Louis Van Gaal's Book Against Colombia

Gareth Southgate could need every trick that's hidden up his sleeve to help England beat Colombia in the second round of the World Cup - and he could do worse than look to former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for inspiration.

Tonight's game between England and Colombia will answer at least one question: was Gareth Southgate right to rest most of his players against Belgium, lose and get the supposed easier half of the draw?

The England boss certainly gambled in the last group game, making eight changes to the team that beat Panama in the second game, and it led to a 1-0 loss thanks to Adnan Januzaj's goal.

Of course the result meant the Three Lions finished second and went into the bottom half of the draw, which was adjudged to be the easier side of things with the likes of France and Brazil out of the way ahead of the final.

But first England must get past Colombia and that won't exactly be an easy task.

The team - and their long-suffering fans - will be hoping that there's no need for penalties tonight but if they do, Southgate could go all Louis van Gaal on us.

According to the Mirror, England could turn to Nick Pope to save any spot kicks, substituting him on for Jordan Pickford, after being impressed by the Burnley keeper's ability to save penalties.

Let's hope they're all this easy for Pope. Image: PA
Let's hope they're all this easy for Pope. Image: PA

The tactic was infamously used by Louis van Gaal four years ago when the Netherlands played their quarter final against Costa Rica and it went to pens.

Jasper Cillessen was taken off in the 120th minute ,with Tim Krul replacing the now Barcelona goalie and going on to save two penalties to take his country through.

Krul comes on just before the shoot-out. Image: PA
Krul comes on just before the shoot-out. Image: PA

Talking about Pope's ability, an England insider told the newspaper, "He has looked good in training. The question is can you come off the bench to do that?"

Pope is Southgate's third choice goalie in Russia, with number one Pickford and Stoke City's Jack Butland ahead of him in the pecking order.

However it could turn out that the Burnley shot-stopper will be the man between the sticks if there are shots from 12 yards out to save.

Can Pope be the saviour for Southgate?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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