< 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

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...

Does your Home Still Suit Your Needs?

Deciding whether to stay or Go Deciding to move house is an exciting, if somewhat daunting, decision. Identifying your ‘why’ is crucial when you start to sense that niggling feeling that has your trawling Rightmove to find your next home. Feeling cramped is one of the most common driving factors when deciding to move. We …

Read more...

House Prices Growing Month on Month

Annual growth of 10% for the past five Months Wondering whether to take the plunge and list your property for sale? If you’re looking to get the best possible price for your home, now is the time to act. According to Nationwide’s House Price Index (HPI) UK house prices have seen a growth of at …

Read more...

National Work Life Week

11-15 October 2021   The secret to a work life balance seems to be on everyone’s lips at the moment. The change in the way many are working and the way our homes are transforming into home/office hybrids has changed the outlook employees and employers have on work life balance in a positive way.   …

Read more...

International Chocolate Week

14-19th October   Is there any better smell to fill a house than the aroma of melted chocolate? The rich, tantalising scent draws in chocolate lovers young and old. The 14-19th October marks International Chocolate Week, the perfect excuse to celebrate this festival and fill your home with chocolatey goodness!   Why not kick off …

Read more...