< Back to blog

Southgate gets England dreaming of Euro 2020 glory Posted On 30 June 2021

Coach oversees rare win against Germany to set up quarter-final tie with Ukraine

 

Twenty-five years after the lowest point of his career, The Quiet Man last night finally suppressed his tortured past. With his back arched, fists clenched in celebration, Gareth Southgate roared in triumph as his England side roared into the quarter-finals of Euro 2020, for once leaving the Germans to shed tears of despair at Wembley.

His penalty miss in the Euro 96 semi-final shoot-out has been a like a ball and chain to the affable Southgate, a perpetual reminder of a failure which, if converted, could have propelled England into the final and ended “30 years of hurt”.

But last night goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane exorcised the coach’s demons, allowing him to move out of the gloom cast by Germany’s class of 96.

And even if it doesn’t “come home” this year, then at least Southgate gave the nation something to smile about today and a last-eight tie against the Ukraine to look forward to.

For such a thoughtful man, his tactics seem rather basic: just make the side difficult to beat. In tournament football, that means loading your defence, getting through the group phase in a business-like fashion and then picking your way through the knockout stages.

Previously chided for being over-cautious – perhaps reflecting his own career as a cultured defender – Southgate last night laid himself open to further barbs by naming a side that was essentially three at the back but could easily have been interpreted as a seven-man defence. The point was it was fluid, and when the game opened up midway through the second half as both sides strove to avoid extra time, the team came into its own.

The turning point came with the introduction of substitute Jack Grealish, who made a compelling case to start Saturday’s last-eight tie in Rome. Instrumental in both goals, he provided a much-needed link to the often-isolated Kane, who converted the Aston Villa forward’s cross to make it 2-0.

And while Sterling took the plaudits for breaking the deadlock with his third goal of the tournament, much credit must be given to a defence which has yet to be breached, despite three heart-in-the-mouth moments.

For that alone, Southgate has to be respected.

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

Don’t Wait for New Years

Raise a Glass this Friday to celebrate International Champagne Day   Champagne may be French but the idea behind Global Champagne Day (this year to be celebrated on the 22nd of October) began in America in 2009 – started by an American blogger, Chris Oggenfuss, who wanted to honour the wine of kings. Champagne is …

Read more...

Mortgage Appraisal

How to increase your Home’s Value   When you make the exciting decision to sell your home, it will be appraised to determine its current market value. You want to get the best possible price for your home, so it needs to be ready for the appraisal.   The appraiser will look at factors such …

Read more...

How To Avoid Common Pitfalls When Selling Your Home

A guide to make the Process as simple as Possible   Congratulations! You’ve made the exciting decision to sell your home! This process can be time-consuming and emotionally challenging. Strangers invading your home and criticising your choice of wall colour or carpet style can feel offensive and it’s hard not to refrain from asking them …

Read more...

Embracing The Cosy

Your Autumn style Fix   Autumn officially began two weeks ago and whilst we are still being treated to the occasional kiss of sunshine, it is time to indulge in the cosiness that comes with the autumnal season. After a year in tracksuits and lounge/athleisure wear, this autumn presents the perfect opportunity for some fearless …

Read more...

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Sip your Favourite Beverage this Coffee Week   The UK’s Coffee week begins on Monday 18th October this year and is a period where coffee shops, restaurants, roasters, and their customers come together to raise funds for Project Waterfall – a charity working to end the water crisis in coffee-growing communities across the world. By …

Read more...