Gareth Southgate play starring Joseph Fiennes about the ‘pressure of penalties’ to be held at National Theatre

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Gareth Southgate was appointed England men’s manager in 2016 when the national team was at its "absolute lowest ebb” following two consecutive poor tournaments in the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016

Joseph Fiennes is set to play England football gaffer Gareth Southgate in a new play about the ‘pressure of penalties’ at the National Theatre. The play is inspired from Southgate’s infamous Euro ‘96 penalty miss.

The play is named ‘Dear England’, and writer James Graham said it would highlight the "gentle revolution" in the team’s culture under Southgate. Graham also hopes to examine "the identity of a football team and the country".

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Speaking to BBC News, Graham continued to say “I think what has happened to the men’s England football team over the past six years has been quietly extraordinary. It’s been humming along in the background, but we’re only starting to really understand Gareth’s gentle revolution."

Southgate was appointed as the England men’s football team manager in November 2016, becoming the third manager of the team in that year after Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce were both sacked.

Southgate, with the help of psychologist Pippa Grange, began to ask questions regarding identity and about how his players could shake burdens of the past, particularly regarding England’s awful record in penalty shoot-outs.

Since his appointment, Southgate has taken charge of three major tournaments. Under his guise, England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the final of the 2021 Euros and the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to beaten finalists and then-World Champions France.

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2018 was a notable tournament too. England shook their penalty shoot-out woes as they beat Columbia en-route to the semi-finals. It was the teams first major tournament since their dismal 2016 Euros tournament where they were beaten by Iceland.

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How to get tickets to Dear England

Tickets to see Dear England starring Joseph Fiennes are yet to go on sale, with tickets going on sale from March 9 at mid-day, and can be purchased from the National Theatre website.

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