Manager Southgate confident in England to make history at Euro 2024


Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate, Head Coach of England, celebrates following the team's victory in the penalty shoot out during the UEFA EURO 2024 quarter-final match between England and Switzerland at Düsseldorf Arena on July 06, 2024 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Gareth Southgate, manager of England, believes that his team will make history by reaching the Euro 2024 final after failing to appear in a final at any international tournament on foreign soil.

England will play the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 semifinals in Dortmund, Germany, for the opportunity to face Spain in the final. Though the "Three Lions”have progressed so far at the tournament, they had to go through extra time to win both knockout games against Switzerland and Slovakia, not to mention that England allowed both opponents to score first.

"There's been a definite shift. I was really interested [because] as a coach sometimes you take a step back and you observe," Southgate said when asked if he feels England are ready to peak at the climax of Euro 2024. "One of the strengths of us over the last seven, eight years has been less fear, less inhibition. But I think at the beginning of the tournament, the expectation weighed quite heavily and of course the external noise was louder than it's ever been."

England played and won the FIFA World Cup final in 1966. Three years ago, they advanced to the Euros final but lost to Italy in a penalty shootout. Both games were at Wembley Stadium in London.

Southgate has been criticized for making England play in a rigid way with too much caution. Many blamed him for wasting the remarkable talents of Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane. He made some changes by moving Phil Foden back in the right midfield against Switzerland, but it didn't work well despite their victory in the end.

"I'm not sure any of the messaging changed but I just felt the group changed. You're now into that moment in the tournament where it's 'what's possible, what's achievable', rather than 'what might go wrong,'" Southgate said. "That's different for players, for an athlete. So, this is now the chance to make history, which we've enjoyed doing that, a chance to get to a first final not held in England – the first time England will have ever done that."

England and the Netherlands have played each other 22 times before. England won six of them and the Netherlands won seven while the other nine ended in draws. The last time the two sides met at the Euros was in 1996, when England beat the Netherlands 4-1 at the group stage.

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