Czech Republic vs England – Defeat displays England are a long way from being a 'really prime group', says Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate believes England’s first qualification defeat in a decade shows how far they are from becoming “a really top team”.

Many expected victory in the Czech Republic and early qualification for Euro 2020, only for the hosts to capitalise on a poor display and end a 43-match unbeaten run in Euro and World Cup qualifying matches.

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A republic (Latin: res publica, meaning “public affair”) is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are attained through democracy, oligarchy, autocracy, or a mix thereof, rather than being unalterably occupied. It has become the opposing form of government to a monarchy and has therefore no monarch as head of state.In the context of American constitutional law, the definition of republic refers specifically to a form of government in which elected individuals represent the citizen body and exercise power according to the rule of law under a constitution, including separation of powers with an elected head of state, referred to as a constitutional republic or representative democracy.As of 2017, 159 of the world’s 206 sovereign states use the word “republic” as part of their official names – not all of these are republics in the sense of having elected governments, nor is the word “republic” used in the names of all nations with elected governments.
The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which literally means “public thing,” “public matter,” or “public affair” and was used to refer to the state as a whole. The term developed its modern meaning in reference to the constitution of the ancient Roman Republic, lasting from the overthrow of the kings in 509 B.C. to the establishment of the Empire in 27 B.C. This constitution was characterized by a Senate composed of wealthy aristocrats and wielding significant influence; several popular assemblies of all free citizens, possessing the power to elect magistrates and pass laws; and a series of magistracies with varying types of civil and political authority.
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Czech Republic vs England: Defeat shows England are far from being a 'really top team', says Gareth Southgate

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Harry Kane’s fifth-minute penalty was as good as it got for the visitors as Jakub Brabec quickly levelled and substitute Zdenek Ondrasek netted a dream debut goal late to secure the Czechs a shock 2-1 comeback win.

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Czech Republic vs England: Defeat shows England are far from being a 'really top team', says Gareth Southgate

Monday’s Group A trip to Bulgaria offers England the chance to make amends for a performance that understandably left Southgate frustrated.

“Clearly that’s not a night that we wanted to be a part of in terms of that record,” Southgate said after England lost a qualifier for the first time since October 2009 in Ukraine.

“We didn’t play well enough, simple as that. We conceded possession of the ball too cheaply.

“Particularly in the first half we didn’t create enough chances. Second half we had some good chances that we didn’t take and throughout the night we were too open out of possession.

“Some of that was because of giving the ball away. So we gave the Czechs, who played well, got to give them credit, we gave them too many opportunities to score.”

Few could have foreseen this outcome given the way England carved the Czechs open to win March’s Group A opener 5-0.

But, much like last month’s 5-3 win against Kosovo, Southgate’s side looked shaky at the back – and this time they lacked the attacking spark to get them through.

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“I think whatever the balance, we didn’t use the ball well enough,” the England boss said.

“And in terms of a wake-up call, I think we’ve had a lot of plaudits. I think we’ve always maintained that there’s a lot of work to be done to be a really top team.

“I think tonight was clear evidence of that. We have to respond in the right way.

“We have a couple of days to regroup, not long, and we have to reward our supporters with a better performance than we gave tonight.

“I don’t think it’s a night for positives, that’s for sure. I think it’s a night to accept the defeat, congratulate the Czechs and accept that we have to be better than we were.”

England suffered their first qualifying defeat in ten years in Prague (AFP via Getty)

Czech counterpart Jaroslav Silhavy spoke in the pre-match press conference about targeting England’s imperfections, yet could hardly believe how much joy they experienced on Friday night.

“I’m obviously over the moon but I have to thank my players, first and foremost, because they played great,” he said.

“It was a 100 per cent performance and that is the only way to succeed really, so we are very happy and I think time will show that we made history tonight because we defeated England after so many years and at a time when they are playing really well.”

PA