< Back to blog

Will Southgate pick up the pace in the Euros? Posted On 29 June 2021

England will probably never have a better chance of ending their tournament hoodoo against Germany

 

If a teacher wrote an end-of-term report on England and Germany’s progress into the knockout stages of Euro 2020, it would be a short, succinct “must, and can, do better”.

This evening, the two most underwhelming sides in the tournament lumber into a round of 16 tie at Wembley (5pm), desperately trying to kid their supporters they can progress deeper into the competition. At least beyond the next round.

The game has much to live up to. An examination of the previous 11 confrontations at World Cups or European Championships reveals a history of drama and controversy: Goals that were but weren’t, goals that weren’t but were, and penalty shoot-outs. Oh, those penalty shoot-outs.

All but three of those ties ended badly for England and you’d probably get good odds on that miserable run continuing tonight.

However, it is because both sides have been so limp and indifferent that makes tonight’s game so fascinating.

It would be fair to say England’s campaign has yet to ignite. The ultra-conservative Gareth Southgate would have taken great satisfaction from the way they achieved the first objective of tournament football – qualifying from the group without conceding a goal.

Yet they only scored twice, despite a wealth of attacking talent, and it remains to be seen whether he loosens the shackles and injects pace via Bundesliga-based Jadon Sancho or retains his trusted and pedestrian 4-2-3-1, with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips protecting the back four and the heavily-criticised Harry Kane operating on a different wavelength to a midfield trio of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling.

Germany have under-performed for months. Thumped 6-0 in Spain and humiliated at home by North Macedonia, and departing coach Joachim Low was forced to concede his young squad needed experience and recalled veterans Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, who were discarded after a woeful 2018 World Cup campaign.

It has made little difference. They conceded five goals in making fortuitous progress from Group F and look surprisingly vulnerable against pace, although England so far have been ponderous and predictable.

So, the stage is set for a tasty confrontation. Particularly for Muller and Rice …

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

Genius smart home technology you may not have heard of

Revolutionise how your home works with these obscure pieces of tech   Smart homes are becoming more and more prominent these days. Incredibly clever technology can be used to regulate temperature, switch on lights and see who is at the front doo...

Read more...

Fantastic treat meal that will feed the whole family for just a fiver

This is sure to be a hit with both the children and the bookkeeper   We are all keeping an eye on the pursestrings right now. As the cost of living crisis continues, weekly bills can be a concern, especially when you want to treat the family. Fo...

Read more...

Create additional storage in your garden to clean the space up

It is incredible how different your outdoor space can look when cleared up a little bit   With the summer season in full swing many of us will be spending more and more time in the garden. Whether inviting family and friends round for a barbecue...

Read more...

Tips to cut down on the amount of rubbish you throw away each week

We all have a responsibility to do our bit for the planet   In modern times we all understand the importance of reducing the amount of rubbish we throw away each week and the impact not doing this can have on the environment. It can be a very s...

Read more...