Southgate Prepares for Tonight’s Friendly by Eating Lunch at Bella Italia

by James Copeland

Gareth Southgate has been pictured in Bella Italia eating a spaghetti bolognaise whilst furiously scribbling down notes in preparation for England’s friendly against Italy, it has been revealed.

The 47-year-old, who also ordered a garlic bread appetizer and a glass of Prosecco to “get into their heads”, explained his unconventional methods at this morning’s press conference. “I’m like the Daniel Day-Lewis of football,” said Southgate to a perplexed room of journalists. “My methods of preparation are incredibly thorough. By eating as the Italians eat, I’m already pretty sure they’re going to play a 4-3-3 this evening.”

According to some of England’s players, eating at Bella Italia has only been the tip of the iceberg for Southgate. “He’s been listening to a lot of Pavarotti” explained Marcus Rashford as he came out of a GCSE exam. “I told him I’d be late for training on Monday due to a Duke of Edinburgh course and he shouted ‘Mamma Mia!’ and made a wild hand gesture. He’s definitely taking this game seriously.”

“It was the same when we played the Dutch” added Danny Welbeck. “He turned up at the airport clutching a bouquet of tulips and wearing a pair of wooden clogs. His stereotyping would be offensive if he wasn’t so oblivious, but I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s a revolutionary.”

Southgate has insisted his methods are winning him games. “Wearing those clogs allowed me to understand the psyche of the Dutch. After a day of walking around in them, I knew exactly how Memphis Depay would be utilised. I also had a few blisters, but that’s the sacrifice I’m prepared to make for this country. I look forward to winning 2018’s Sports Personality of the Year.”

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