What a difference winning makes

Well done the England men’s football team for getting further than past teams in the European competition. England have never won the European Cup for national teams, and has only won the World Cup once, 55 years ago.

In contrast the English men’s rugby team were world champions in 2003 and runners up in 2007. The English cricket team won the World cup in 2019. England have also been the No 1 Test team in the world.

England expects a lot of our teams. Years of disappointment about the football has led to plenty of criticism of past managers over the years, and of some of the players. It seemed at times that the players felt cursed to play for England and keen to get back to their successful clubs where they are paid a fortune and are respected by a loyal fan base. Club managers often did not welcome the absence of their players on England duty with the threat of injury and different manager and coaching routines to learn.

This England team have done better and have at times played some inspirational football. They have expanded their fan base and reduced the critical noise from the press.They need to use this to become a serious challenger at the next World Cup.

Getting to the final lifted the team and the country. The manager’s choice of specialist penalty takers backfired badly and cost them a victory.

143 Comments

  1. Mark B
    July 12, 2021

    Good morning.

    Years of disappointment about the football has led to plenty of criticism of past managers . . .

    And

    The manager’s choice of specialist penalty takers backfired badly and cost them a victory.

    I’ll say no more.

    I did not watch the game. It is not that I do not have interest in football, quite the opposite, but there are other issues at play too long to go into.

    One thing that worries me is, politicians are so very quick to jump on the bandwagon when one of the Home Nations (usually England) does well. It is the only time that they can bring themselves to name my country and use it to bask in its reflected glory. As a line in a song about the EU Referendum (see YT) once said –

    (England) “Is not just a football team !”

    1. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      It was the fact that on the night, for whatever reason, Italy were the better side which cost England the title.

      Congratulations Italy, and thank you to all the players and managers of all the other sides for an enthralling tournament, particularly England’s.

    2. lifelogic
      July 12, 2021

      Perhaps less kneeling to mad Marxism Organisations and a little more basic penalty practice. They played fairly well but missing three of five penalties was very poor indeed. But then my wife is Italian so she and the children are kept fairly happy. So when will Italy leave the EURO/EU, no real positive economic growth for decades. Very cheap properties indeed.

      So how much energy intense fuel did Virgin Galactica use to transport a handful of people from New Mexico and then to err New Mexico. Gallons of rocket fuel per mile travelled this infinite? I thought Sir Richard Branson was a believer in the Climate Emergency by his pronouncements, but obviously not. He is perhaps just trying to take the most obvious public hypocrite prize back from Prince Charles, Harry & Megan and the Emma Thompson types. Like politicians you can only judge then by their actions their words are largely worthless.

      1. NickC
        July 12, 2021

        Will Meg’n’Arry get a starring role in “Carrie on Boris”, the global warming farce, as compensation for us peasants losing at football?

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      July 13, 2021

      Years os disappointment in sport or the government?

  2. agricola
    July 12, 2021

    All you say is true, a touch more agressive play in the second half might have swung it. The cynical fouling on the part of the italians, marked with too few yellow cards, did them no credit. Penalties are no way to decide a football match. Our team, manager and staff can leave this contest with heads held high.
    A building block for the future. A demonstration of what it means to be English.

    1. Original Richard
      July 12, 2021

      Agricola : “The cynical fouling on the part of the Italians, marked with too few yellow cards, did them no credit.”

      Yes, but simply the issuing of yellow cards is insufficient, particularly in a final. Whist a sending off is often seen as too draconian.

      The FA should follow rugby and hockey by instituting sin bins to send the offending player off the field for a time. This would enable referees to control the game better and is a much fairer system than simply the issuing of a card.

      1. lifelogic
        July 12, 2021

        Indeed but the blatant shirt pulling was a very clear red card offence. A yellow card cost Italy nothing.

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          July 12, 2021

          Exactly what I thought. Every player in the Italian team could have committed a foul and after receiving a yellow card, kept on playing. The ref was useless. Good on England for playing a pretty clean game.

          1. lifelogic
            July 13, 2021

            +1

      2. Jim Whitehead
        July 12, 2021

        I’m a Scot living in England and I was really pleased to see England playing with skill and panache that rewarded the eye and easily wins the mind, and they were looking like winners after a splendid first goal.
        I’ll leave the analysis to the pundits but the unsporting play was disgraceful. That the Cup should be awarded to a captain who had displayed such blatant unsporting behaviour as that yank on Saka’s shirt neck makes a mockery of the idea that Professional football is a sport. That was a red card action. Like ‘The Hand of God’ incident the game is brought into disrepute.
        Sir Bobby Charlton would never have done that, he was a wonderful example of a top class sportsman.
        I had hoped to see the game won fairly by admirable play and well taken goals. I didn’t switch on until I knew that the ritual of the knee was definitely over but the relentless booing was unpleasant to any sports loving person. The country is never strengthened by examples of such crass behaviour. I have seen a classical concert performance punctuated by an address to the audience, courteously delivered, that the level of coughing from the audience was unacceptable. It worked.
        Covid warnings have blighted many a browse round a supermarket, and maybe it could be imagined that an authoritative request for more sporting fan behaviour at a match might be respected . . . surely we’re not too far gone to hope.

  3. Everhopeful
    July 12, 2021

    If the England team stopped being so woke and political and concentrated on football….
    they might just win the next international match.
    If there is one!

    1. Nig l
      July 12, 2021

      Utter rubbish demonstrating your own prejudices. If you knew anything about football you would have realised that they were beaten by a team, that many from early on said was the best in the tournament, and on the night we’re just that bit more skilful/savvy for us.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        I do know that a sport needs to be practised, skills honed.
        Absolute dedication, like the Spartans, wins matches.
        Footballers’ heads should not be filled with politics.
        The players need to concentrate on the game.

      2. lifelogic
        July 13, 2021

        Take a lot of skill to grab and yank a shirt so strongly & blatantly without getting sent off I suppose.

    2. Andy
      July 12, 2021

      Strange – because in the period you would consider them ‘not woke’ they frequently didn’t progress beyond the first round.

      1. NickC
        July 12, 2021

        Yes but now we have to put with them being woke, and still losing.

        1. Everhopeful
          July 12, 2021

          +1 😂

        2. Andy
          July 12, 2021

          Standing up against racism and prejudice isn’t ‘woke’. It is what all decent people.

          One wonders why most of you lack the decency to understand this.

          1. steve
            July 12, 2021

            Andy

            On this rare occasion….+1

        3. Peter Parsons
          July 12, 2021

          What a pathetic comment. This team was more successful in this than any previous England team in over 50 years of major tournaments.

          1. Peter Parsons
            July 12, 2021

            “in this tournament”

      2. MiC
        July 12, 2021

        😆

    3. Peter Parsons
      July 12, 2021

      They played 7 matches, won 5, drew 2 and lost 0 during regulation play and extra time.

      Players like Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling know where they have come from in their life, know the struggles that many go through that others, like me, never had to.

      One only has to look at the disgusting abuse directed towards the three players who didn’t score the penalties last night to realise that this country still has a serious problem and if those players wish to take a stand against the attitudes that clearly exist that lead to that abuse, that leads to booing the players for taking that stand (with the full support of the current Home Secretary), that thinks that booing national anthems is acceptable behaviour, then I, for one, support them in doing so. Opposing such attitudes isn’t “woke”, it’s basic human decency.

      1. Kathy
        July 12, 2021

        I’ve just been listeningtoday to Matt Le Tissier being interviewed about the match and about the racism and he said that it was, of course, unpleasant but that there is racism in society, not just in football. He also said that, in recent years, the situation in football is much improved. He puts the few racists down to bad upbringing and I can’t argue with that.

        1. Everhopeful
          July 12, 2021

          Why on earth and how on earth do you lot see racism in everything?
          In the name of reason what has racism got to do with last night’s game?
          You must all see it under every overturned stone!

          1. Cheshire Girl
            July 13, 2021

            I may be wrong, but I believe that all the talk of ‘racism’ nowadays, by the Media and others, actively ‘encourages’ it.
            I now turn off Channel 4 News, which I have watched for many years, because I can’t stand their nightly lecture on ‘racism’.

            Social Media can be a curse, and doesn’t always reflect majority views.

      2. a-tracy
        July 12, 2021

        I personally am glad to say that no one I follow reposted any of this abuse so I didn’t see it. It seems that the Met is quickly jumping all over it too. The Metropolitan Police also condemned the “unacceptable” abuse, adding it will be investigating the “offensive and racist” social media posts. I want to know what action is taken once investigated.

      3. lifelogic
        July 12, 2021

        There are alas quite a lot inadequate people who feel the need to feel superior and abuse some group or other. I am not sure this will ever change (the BBC suggests educating them but I am not sure that will work very well). All countries have this problem in some form or other, not all people are very nice alas, but most are I find.

  4. Bob Duxon
    July 12, 2021

    The England manager,at the end of extra time,was writing down his penalty takers.Not very good planning as the penalties where poor.

    1. formula57
      July 12, 2021

      @ Bob Dixon – He could not make his final dispositions before then as he could not be certain which players would be on the pitch (and hence eligible), which were injured, which were not then in the right frame of mind.

    2. Micky Taking
      July 12, 2021

      I believe the manager has to provide written sequence of penalty takers to the Ref.

  5. Sea_Warrior
    July 12, 2021

    Perhaps now the England team could do us all a favour and abandon their kneeling-to-Marxism and start working on their mental toughness. Then I might start watching soccer internationals again – and the Six Nations, and international cricket, and F1.
    P.S. And Parliament really needs to look at toughening up laws concerning laser-pointers.

    1. Iago
      July 12, 2021

      So they did kneel then? How disgusting. I’ve no tv licence, for the usual reason.

    2. MickN
      July 12, 2021

      I thought it was just me.

    3. rose
      July 12, 2021

      Ex R used them at airports didn’t they, to blind the pilots?

  6. Micky Taking
    July 12, 2021

    Italy’s choice of penalty takers ought to have cost them victory, but ours were worse.
    We lost due to a strategy and playing style that is too conservative, we labour under the belief that defending a small advantage will give us a win. Our teams always get picked to stop individual flair, refusing to select those with liberal skills that might provide victory. Typically at the polls the manager gets the blame for shortcomings, and sadly who else might be better? Possibly no-one. Being brave and giving the younger ones more playing time worked up until the final, when experience and tactics, even skill usually decides the outcome. A mindset of defending and ignoring talent sat on the benches reminds me of English politics. Sadly it always seems to be ‘better next time?’ .

    1. Nig l
      July 12, 2021

      And how many football teams, both domestic and international have you managed, zero I guess.

      1. NickC
        July 12, 2021

        Don’t be so pompous, Nig1. Neither of us has been Prime Minister. That doesn’t mean we cannot have an opinion about the PMs who run the country between elections. I have managed (amateur) teams in another sport. Does that count?

      2. Micky Taking
        July 12, 2021

        just my opinion – as good as yours – – I’ve watched pro football for over 60 years, 3rd Div S, right through to PL, followed a son and grandsons play. You?
        Just what did I suggest that offended you?

    2. Everhopeful
      July 12, 2021

      +1

    3. Timaction
      July 12, 2021

      Indeed. Southgate’s left the talent on the bench to keep his 8 of 11 defenders on the pitch. But of course his strategy paid off……but wait!

  7. Newmania
    July 12, 2021

    I have no doubt the readers of John Redwoods Blog would like to applaud Josep “Pep”, Guardiola ,( Spanish ) ,and Jurgen Klopp ( German ), for the way they nurtured the raw talent of Raheem Shaquille Sterling ( Immigrant ) ,to become England’s outstanding player in this tournament. All three will be glad to get back to causing a housing crisis, reducing salaries, and being to blame for everything at the first opportunity
    I am probably more of a rugby fan personally ( relatively small pond though it may be ) and have followed what looks like a thrilling Lions side out in South Africa. Marcus Smith called up as well which is exciting news for Quinn’s fans .
    Marcus Smith is a young and exciting Fly Half …who as an immigrant from the Philippines is also causing the housing crisis reducing wage and over loading the NHS in between his England performances

    Makes ya proud to be Inglish dunnit

    1. NickC
      July 12, 2021

      Shock, Horror, Armageddon!!?!! Some foreigners are better at some sports than some English some of the time. Queue Newmania to sneer at England for being racist. As though 12+ million (9+ million, officially) migrants has had no effect on housing, infrastructure and crowding at all.

      1. bill brown
        July 13, 2021

        NIckC

        Totally unnecessary remark it has been statistically proven taht the foreigners provide more to the state system than they take out as most of them are young coming here to work

        Reply Not true. You need to include costs of housing and public service provision

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      July 12, 2021

      Jurgen Klopp had nothing to do with Sterling. That would be a French man and a Northern Irish man

  8. Denis Cooper
    July 12, 2021

    Off topic, there is an extraordinary reader’s letter in the Irish Times this morning:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/bringing-balance-to-the-protocol-1.4616246

    “Bringing balance to the protocol”

    “Sir, – In the approach to the Twelfth, loyalists in the North have been presented with the Northern Ireland protocol as the new bogeyman.

    So, as a means of lowering tensions, would it not be in order for unionism to reassure loyalism of their secure place within the union, by emphasising that no change to the constitutional position of NI within the UK can occur without majority consent.

    Furthermore, that this condition applies regardless of any protocol.

    It’s remarkable how this vital safeguard is being overlooked in the fury of loyalist agitation against the protocol.

    – Yours, etc,

    MICK O’BRIEN,

    Kilkenny.”

    So who is going to send in an answer to that, pointing out that according to the Belfast High Court the protocol itself required a change to the constitutional position of NI within the UK?

    Despite Boris Johnson’s false denial on June 23, for which he has not yet apologised to the House:

    https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/07/08/the-afghan-war/#comment-1242246

    Do we have a Conservative and Unionist volunteer to write in to the Irish Times and point this out?

    1. NickC
      July 12, 2021

      Good point, Denis. Please keep up your fight against this government betraying Northern Ireland.

      1. Old Salt
        July 12, 2021

        Seems EU/UK intention is to persuade NI be better off reuniting. Part of EU never-ending plan to dismember UK against the wishes of the electorate. Some democracy! BRINO etc etc.. The NIP has been signed so that’s that and as an Irish EU Commissioner Mairead Mcguinness said on TV ”…get used to the new reality”. Also not forgetting Martin Selmayr is reported to have said “ The price of Brexit would be the loss of Northern Ireland”.

  9. Ed M
    July 12, 2021

    Well done the England Football Team.
    95% of women don’t care about Women’s Football. They love the pace and power and skill of men’s football and to watch men play the sport.
    Women are just as GREAT as men – but not at football or sport (except 3-Day horse eventing or something).
    Important point, as our world is being over-feminised – and our men with it.

  10. Nig l
    July 12, 2021

    Thank you Sir JR, re your last line I look forward to your comment ‘sadly Boris Johnson’s choice of ministers has backfired badly’

    far more important to us overall, life and death, finance education etc and obvious to us who gave to suffer for their failings.

    Cue Hancock, Williamson. Jenrick, Shapps, Trevalyon for starters. Obviously you won’t. Funny that.

    And as an example your pathetic may, might, will, could approach to masks, freedoms etc shows how spineless and rudderless this government is.

    And talking of rudderless, your green policy exposed, costing 1 trillion going up because of over confident (‘lies’) forecasts. No idea how it will be paid for, whether technology will be available etc.

    We now know that to pay EDF for the capital costs of its latest nuclear power station, we will have a surcharge added to our energy bills. So not only are we paying for the increasing cost of energy because of this zero thought through policy, we will now be taxed directly to pay for something we have no say over whatsoever.

    Interesting development on HS 2 cost overruns disclosures. I think we know the truth including the inevitable fudge that will follow.

    1. Mark
      July 12, 2021

      The proposal over Sizewell C strikes me as entirely wrong. We are planning to install yet more of a totally unproven technology that has run into numerous teething problems in construction and use, while offering sweetheart terms to the French and Chinese yet again. And the cost won’t even be hidden away in a measurable CFD, but buried completely in other charges. We should be looking at the far more cost effective proven technology available from Japan and Korea to cover until we have proven and developed SMRs, which is probably 15 years away before they are available on a fully competitive basis, unless the project is given rocket boosters.

  11. Mike Wilson
    July 12, 2021

    The second half was embarrassing. We barely had a touch for the whole of the second half. Why is our goalkeeper allowed to keep waving his arms to urge his players up the pitch then booting the ball right up the pitch where, invariably, Italy took possession. No other team does this. They play out from the back and keep the ball. On the whole I thought it was another disappointing performance, just like previous England teams. None of the highly paid BBC pundits mentioned this strange behaviour throughput the second half. As for the penalties! You can’t side foot the ball and hope to score unless, by luck, the keeper goes the wrong way. Oh well, another case of deja vu.

    1. Micky Taking
      July 12, 2021

      If you watched more forensically you might notice we have great difficulty keeper to fullback, fullback to anywhere but another fullback or return to keeper. It is this slow, slow indecision and doubt a forward pass will find our player that means we make perhaps 6 passes in our half before we actually attempt going forward. In the meantime the opposition has settled nicely into a defensive format well practised.
      PL managers, scouts, pundits seem to make great store by how many passes are ‘successfully completed’ – but don’t consider they are generally to their own players in the safety of little doubt. Those players who put their reputation out there on trying to make telling forward moves are thought to be a risk in the team, not an asset. Funny old game, football.

    2. a-tracy
      July 13, 2021

      I agree with you Mike, I stopped watching it in the second half when this goalkeeper kick to Italy strategy kept happening time and time again, it is just too frustrating and slow to watch. They also don’t run to challenge Italian players with possession so again it is boring to watch it.

  12. turboterrier
    July 12, 2021

    For at least thirty minutes of the second half the Italian team were allowed to take control of the game with their two touch style of football and we were always on the back foot.
    We never seem to appreciate that the game needs to be won in the ninety minutes and that automatically cancels out all the intensive build up to having to prepare for the dreaded shoot-out.
    The team did the country proud and I do not think I am alone when I thought the standard of refereeing was at times dire.
    The officials should look long and hard at the performance last nights game as at times it spoilt the flow of the game for both the players and the crowd. But they won’t as the whole of Europe wanted us to lose as punishment for Brexit. It badly taints the game. It is not sour grapes that we lost. Credit to the winning side but the game was aĺl about two halves which one took a lot out of our players physically and mentally. It is a lot to expect players to come off of the bench for two minutes before expecting them to perform confidently in a shoot out.
    .

  13. Ed M
    July 12, 2021

    Why are people so down about England. They did really well. They reached the final – the first time achieving something like this for over 50 years. And put themselves into a good position to win the World Cup next year and Euros after that. Go England.

  14. formula57
    July 12, 2021

    Yesterday’s match could easily have been as it nearly was Denmark v. Spain.

    The England football manager job shares the characteristic of that of prime minister: there is virtually no-one in the country who does not know how to do it better than the incumbent. A measure of Gareth Southgate’s prowess is that that characteristic was largely muted, before yesterday at least.

  15. Nig l
    July 12, 2021

    And I see big business anti brexit are looking for another way to get cheap labour pushing for short term work visas for delivery drivers. Oh yes they will all go home at the end, not.

    Just another way to increase immigration. Get ready for government BS when they give in.

    1. The Prangwizard
      July 12, 2021

      My thoughts exactly. There must be tens of thousands of available drivers; online shopping delivery drivers, who could be attracted. Step up more training and pay more.

      Yes, Bluffer ‘Boris’ will cave in like he always does. He is all mouth – he loves nothing but the sound of his own voice and his ‘clever’ words and phrases and his picture in the papers.

      1. steve
        July 12, 2021

        Prangwizard

        “and his ‘clever’ words ”

        Like ‘ter’ instead of to.

      2. Cheshire Girl
        July 13, 2021

        They are going to vote on it today (Tuesday).
        I am hoping the Government will stay strong on resisting the calls for no reduction, but, based on past experience, I’m not holding my breath.

  16. Alan Jutson
    July 12, 2021

    Have to say I was more than surprised Southgate was writing down the list of penalty takers at the end of extra time, I would have thought the first 5 at least would have been fixed in stone.
    Afraid I do not like penalty takers who are not decisive before and during their run up.

    Lessons should have been learn’t years ago !!!!!!

  17. lifelogic
    July 12, 2021

    So Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has written to BBC director general Tim Davie demanding Sir Robbie be removed from his position. After all where would Labour be without the BBC’s endless propaganda.

    The absurd left wing agenda of the BBC really must be tackled it would benefit of the BBC too. They are absurdly out of line with public opinion and the public are largely right and the BBC invariably wrong and biased on almost every issue (climate change, the size of the state, lockdown, the ERM, BLM, Trump/Biden the EU…). The BBC still seems to be digging a bigger hole for themselves every day.

  18. No Longer Anonymous
    July 12, 2021

    Sadly the BBC have already turned this into an issue about racism and the need for hyper-lockdown as we ‘abused our freedoms’ during this tournament and cannot be trusted.

    So more BLM and more SAGE.

    We face an existential crisis and being masked up forever as Boris bottles it yet again and caves to the Marxists (Mask-ists ?)

    I fail to see what is going to change on Freedom Day.

    Masks are not going to be temporary anymore. They are now permanent.

    We may be focused on missed penalties at the moment but that is nothing NOTHING compared to the goal that Boris has just allowed in.

  19. Everhopeful
    July 12, 2021

    £47.5 billion.
    How come?
    Did we have an extra bottle of bubbly or something, before we left?

    1. Everhopeful
      July 12, 2021

      Oh sorry…is that euros?

      1. acorn
        July 12, 2021

        Yes the bill is in Euro circa £40.3 billion at todays rate

        1. Everhopeful
          July 12, 2021

          Thanks.
          Wonder what it’s for?

  20. Glenn Vaughan
    July 12, 2021

    It appears that someone forgot to turn on the laser beams during the penalty shoot-out.

    The failure to use Rashford, Grealish et. al earlier in the second half cost England the match. They would have made a penalty shoot-out redundant.

    1. lifelogic
      July 12, 2021

      +1 as surely did the poor selection of penalty takers.

    2. steve
      July 12, 2021

      Glen Vaughan

      “They would have made a penalty shoot-out redundant. ”

      …..the bloody ref would have made it redundant if he’d done his job properly.

  21. John Miller
    July 12, 2021

    Sad to see the outbreak of racism, widely condemned. But I do wonder whether many of the people condemning it are responsible for stirring it up. Certainly, the BBC with their racist display of proudly eliminating white Englishmen from our screens, has a lot to answer for. The FA, in expecting football teams to bend the knee, honoring a Marxist organisation that was responsible for inciting the murder of 5 white policemen in the USA, is culpable.

  22. beresford
    July 12, 2021

    Fine margins. Scoring so early was a two-edged sword, as it left England with a long time to ‘stick or twist’, and unfortunately they decided to stick. There was a long period of Italian dominance, including their goal, but dangerman Chiesa had to leave the game and Italy were obviously going to be tired in extra time after all the pressing they had been doing. Grealish should have been brought on at the start of extra time, to run at the defence and win free kicks. Going to penalties was never going to be good for England, with the enormous Italian goalkeeper. I can’t blame Southgate for bringing on his penalty-takers at the end of extra time, he must have thought he had done all he could. Those guys are professionals and only had one job to do. I can’t get too excited at losing a penalty shootout, just as I wouldn’t have been overamped if we had won that way, somehow it doesn’t seem like football. I am old enough to remember before penalties when matches were decided on a coin toss! As disgruntled foreign commentators were saying, this tournament was set up for England and I don’t see them having a better chance in my lifetime.

  23. graham1946
    July 12, 2021

    I am not generally a football fan, but I did enjoy watching the England side in this competition. Regardless of the result, we should pay respect to the clean way they played, unlike the dirty tactics of Italy, particularly the foul by the captain against young Saka who was making a good run, pulled to the ground by a thug. Italy may have won and no doubt honour does not come into it, just the winning. Let them enjoy that if that’s what they are like. We have a fine group of players now who will go on to big things as they mature. The days of the prima donnas have gone and they all work together for the common good – something a few on here would do well to think about. Southgate is a great manager and a fine role model for our young, instilling all the best qualities of our culture in his team. No honours due yet, but in due course, at the end of their careers, who knows, rather than time serving civil servants and failed politicians. Well done lads, be proud of your achievement and we look forward to the next one.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 12, 2021

      I like your post Graham. I’m not normally a fan of football but I enjoyed watching the England team play. As you say, the Italians played a dirty game but then many expected nothing less.

  24. Roy Grainger
    July 12, 2021

    Italy won because they have a better manager, not just a bit better but demonstrably far superior – better tactically, better game management (substitutions), better motivationally, no favouring of a core group of players irrespective of their form, experience of winning competitions.

    England failed in the same way they did under Southgate in the Nations League semi against the Netherlands and the World Cup semi against Croatia – go 1-0 up then try to defend that score for the rest of normal and extra time. Same result each time – beaten. It seems nothing at all was learnt from those previous games.

    1. steve
      July 12, 2021

      Roy Grainger

      “Italy won because they have a better manager ”

      No, they ‘won’ because they cheated and the ref let them get away with it.

  25. Everhopeful
    July 12, 2021

    Sorry…O/T but very confusing.
    Govt sending out new Covid advice to schools etc saying that as of 19th July masks will not be required and will not be a legal requirement on public transport.
    Yet govt ministers saying opposite.
    How are we meant to know?

    1. J Bush
      July 12, 2021

      Johnson’s nudge team trying to be ‘clever’ using confusion to continue their control freakery. Play them at their own game, ignore the silly b**gers, that will confuse the hell out of them.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        +1

      2. lifelogic
        July 12, 2021

        Most have been ignoring them already just get on a bus or tube in London.

        Especially government ministers and dignitaries it seems.

    2. No Longer Anonymous
      July 12, 2021

      They’re here to stay. Masks are now permanent.

      Boris has bottled it and left it to Karen to enforce them.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        Oh dear!

      2. steve
        July 12, 2021

        NLA

        “They’re here to stay. Masks are now permanent. ”

        …….ignore Boris Johnson, he has no legitimacy. He blew that the minute he betrayed NI.

    3. J Bush
      July 12, 2021

      Johnson’s nudge team trying to be ‘clever’ using confusion to continue their control freakery. Play them at their own game, ignore the silly b**gers and confuse the hell out of them.

    4. Suzette Burtenshaw
      July 12, 2021

      I think that’s the point.

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        Sadly yes!

    5. beresford
      July 12, 2021

      As July 19th approaches, the government are backsliding. Masks are not compulsory but you will be ‘expected’ to wear them. Cue fist fights in shops and on public transport. The sinister ‘vaccine passports’ are making a reappearance, we all know the government are gagging to introduce them. They will not be required but venues will be ‘encouraged’ to demand them; and presumably if encouragement isn’t enough, incentives will be introduced. I have now taken the filter out of my facemask, it still fulfils the legal requirement of being a ‘face covering’ but now I can breathe normally AND vaxxers can have the placebo effect of seeing me wearing it. Win-win!

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        +1
        Is it all about the ££££s or about control?
        I am heartily sick of it.

    6. Roy Grainger
      July 12, 2021

      Smoking is legal but the government advises you don’t. Do you understand that? Is it confusing ?

      1. Everhopeful
        July 12, 2021

        Ah yes! Point taken.

        PS I imagine that mask wearing is every bit as bad for the lungs as smoking might be. So your comparison is very appropriate!

  26. Lily
    July 12, 2021

    I am a cricket and rugby fan and have been to several international matches where England played in both sports. In both cases, fans from both sides sat side by side in the stadium, with no animosity. In fact the opposite is true, with fans applauding good play from the opponents. And there was never any trouble from 80,000 fans making their way back to Twickenham station after a rugby match or from the cricket fans who seem to be able to drink all day with no ill effects other than the volume of their chanting going up. In both cases we are fortunate to have great players, including some with racial heritage other than “White British”. This is also the case with the England football team but sadly many football fans seem to think it’s ok to be abusive to the opposition’s fans, arena stewards and the police and now, thanks to social media, they are being racially abusive to members of the England squad. I find this behaviour completely unacceptable and an appalling example to set to the rest of the country. I also find it bewildering that the Prime Minister has only chosen to condemn the abuse on Twitter instead of issuing a statement from the steps of Number 10 Downing Street. Surely the message is too important to leave to social media.

    Reply Yes I agree the abuse is a disgrace.

  27. Barnm
    July 12, 2021

    There’s no point in pretending England was outplayed outsmarted and then let down by the behaviour of the yobs. Need we say more

  28. Neil Watson
    July 12, 2021

    At no point, nowhere, over the weekend, did any of our ‘news’ outlets report that England WON!!
    England beat Canada!
    At Rugby Union.
    Why do we not celebrate this? Is it because it is a minority sport when compared to football? As far as our footballing is concerned, we are losers.
    At most other sporting events, we seem to be winners, but that is kept in shadow. Shame.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      July 12, 2021

      It was shown live on terrestrial TV

  29. Peter
    July 12, 2021

    The game was lost by the manager who as against Croatia in the world cup got one up and went super defensive. We do not have the ability to do this with liabilities like Walker and Stones (see their awful positioning for the equalizer). If we had continued on the front foot we would have won. As for the taking of the knee it is now reduced to a very brief cameo to try and stop the booing – perhaps the team and manager are starting to get the message!

    1. Donna
      July 12, 2021

      I’m not sure the defeat was simply the choice of players to take the penalties.
      There was a period in the second half when I said to my son ” the Italians are going to score” because they had too much possession and time and again were allowed to advance to within striking distance of the English goal without being challenged. Yet Southgate made no substitution to address the issue.

      And when it came to the penalties, he brought on two subs with a view to them taking a penalty, only 2 minutes before the end of the game. Surely they should have come on at the very latest at the start of the second half of extra time so they could get into the match and “kick in” before being faced with the pressure of a penalty.

      I feel a great deal of sympathy for Rashford, Sancho and Saku – they will have to live with the pain of missing their penalty for the rest of their lives (just as Southgate has). It was the Manager’s tactics lost the match.

      1. steve
        July 12, 2021

        Donna

        “I feel a great deal of sympathy for Rashford, Sancho and Saku – they will have to live with the pain of missing their penalty for the rest of their lives ”

        Not necessarily. I have a hunch this will be the making of these lads, they will mature into world class super-legends.

      2. lifelogic
        July 12, 2021

        I too feel sympathy for them and rather blame the manager’s tactics and foolish choice of penalty takers.

    2. Kathy
      July 12, 2021

      I wonder if they will do it next year when they get to Qatar?

    3. Peter
      July 12, 2021

      Peter,

      Not written by this Peter. I don’t do what the Americans call ‘Monday morning quarter back’.

      However, I was in the stadium in 66 to see England win the semi final and quarter final. Happy days!

      I gradually lost interest in the national football team after the Mexico World Cup in 1970.

  30. hefner
    July 12, 2021

    O/T: Will be get a comment from Sir John on SPACs, DMGT, Mr Harmsworth and the ownership of the Daily Mail?

    No.

    1. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      Yes, interesting developments.

      One normal reason for someone wanting sole private ownership is to marshal through a fundamental change of direction and purpose for an entity.

      It’s a pity that the Rothermeres didn’t do it a decade ago, if that be the case then.

      1. Peter2
        July 12, 2021

        Presumably the ownership of the Independent and Guardian and Observer is all fine MiC

        1. MiC
          July 12, 2021

          No, I have questions about that.

          In principle I have no objections to the Rothermeres owning the DM outright.

          My interest is in why they want it, and what they plan to do with that intrinsic power.

          1. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            Not sure if that is an agreement or not MiC.
            We have a great variety of publications here in the UK
            Both paper titles and digital ones.
            Choose ones you like.

        2. hefner
          July 12, 2021

          P2, The Guardian Media Group had been owned by the Scott Trust between 1936 and 2008; since then by the Scott Trust Endowment Fund, to which you are very welcome to contribute (if you wish obviously). Don’t snigger, with the proper advice it might even help you pay (a bit) less tax.
          And BTW, do you check anything before writing your comments?

          1. Peter2
            July 12, 2021

            Yes thanks heffy.
            I knew that.
            That is why I posted what I said
            Do you see?

          2. Peter2
            July 13, 2021

            No rebuttal re the Independent then hef?

  31. Cliff. Wokingham
    July 12, 2021

    England did well to make it to the European final and it was disappointing that we had to come second rather than first.
    I was very pleased to see the Red Arrows perform a fly past over the stadium.

    I watched all the build up on Sky News before switching to Itv for the match.
    I cannot understand why people had to throw bottles and traffic cones as they came up Wembley Way. Did these people not care that the world’s eyes were on us?
    Post match was an embarrassment to our nation.
    Perhaps Andy, who appears to be the young people’s self appointed spokesman, would care to explain why they would do such things. I didn’t see any pensioners rioting but, we are old enough to remember the last big final in 1966. The behaviour of the fans back then was so different compared to today.
    Let’s hope the home nations will go on to perform well in next year’s World Cup.

  32. Narrow Shoulders
    July 12, 2021

    Italy had one clear cut chance to score in 90 minutes plus a snap-shot that went wide but had the goalkeeper beaten had it been on target.

    England could have won it in 90 and that style of play got us to the final and resulted in plaudits for Gareth Southgate being some kind of messiah. Turns out he is not the messiah he is a very cautious boy; but that did not change yesterday and his safe hands have got us to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final in our last two attempts which I think is pretty good going. Not pretty to watch often but it was a great ride both times.

    The players and Gareth Southgate said numerous times that their kneeling was a gesture against racism and not support of Black Lives Matter, I will take them at their word (although the emerging rumours that Grelish did not start in case he didn’t kneel would be concerning if true).

    Today, funeral-like is a time for reflecting on the positives, not dredging up petty gripes for point scoring. I am hugely proud to be English today (acknowledging the need to marginalise the idiots that tried to break into Wembley and the tools racially abusing the players on social media) we have never, in my lifetime been involved on the final day of an international football tournament and I enjoyed the ride.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      July 12, 2021

      Ignoring my own exhortations to accentuate the positives, I did read on the Telegraph comments section that Marcus Rashford is a shadow of the player he was since he started running the country which I thought was fairly amusing.

  33. X-Tory
    July 12, 2021

    Haha – I never thought this site would become a TalkSport spinoff! But I am more than happy to have my two penneth’ worth, as this was a very disappointing result and the blame must be laid squarely at Southgate’s door – and in particular his completely inept use (or rather, lack of use) of substitutes. We could all see that, after the first half hour, both Kane and Sterling became completely ineffectual last night and they should both have been subbed at the start of the second half. Italy was there for the taking in normal time, and we should have won 2:1.
    The Italian manager used all his subsitutions, and made effective changes at the right time. Southgate replaced players haphazardly, and then in the very last minute (literally) brought on two supposed penalty specialists, who both completely effed up. Southgate has form when it comes to letting England down in penalty shoot-outs, and he did it again last night. It’s time to appoint a manager who will be more focused on training and tactics rather than promoting his stupid left-wing politics.

    1. Peter
      July 12, 2021

      ‘Hats off to Gareth Southgate!’

      ‘Gareth Southgate? Aren’tchajustsickofhim!’

  34. Derek
    July 12, 2021

    55 years is a long time to go without a win. Could it be that the English team/managers are doing something wrong? Is their tactical approach and methodology correct? Or do we merely lack the skilled players necessary?

  35. John McDonald
    July 12, 2021

    What a difference having a Parliament makes
    Italy 1 England 0
    The only country in Europe without one !
    Scotland 1 England 0
    Wales 1 England 0
    NI 1 England 0
    Not even winning in the UK Democracy shoot out !

  36. glen cullen
    July 12, 2021

    So the new government policy is vaccination and herd immunity

    1. Everhopeful
      July 12, 2021

      Is that official?
      Sounds better than whatever the previous nonsense was.
      I still don’t understand how they can get away with sending out instructions to schools etc and then going back on them.
      Confusion as a psycho weapon?

      1. glen cullen
        July 12, 2021

        That was the policy at 3:30pm…..could be something else by now

    2. Dave Andrews
      July 12, 2021

      Policy?
      How generous of you.

    3. MiC
      July 12, 2021

      WHO policy is vaccination, and through that alone, herd immunity – as it is for all diseases for which there are vaccines.

      IT is NOT letting the disease run wild through any section of the people.

    4. Micky Taking
      July 13, 2021

      I read that as the new Government policy is vacillation and heard impunity.

  37. The Prangwizard
    July 12, 2021

    I stopped following football here many decades ago, repelled by the violence on the pitch, in the crowds and by the whole aggressive culture.

    There is something basically wrong with England’s attitude to football – a kind of inferiority complex which ‘noise’ is used to hide. Englands identity is suppressed in our lives in general and for some reason football is an outlet.

    It has improved to some extent but now we have politics on the pitch. The manager sounded like a talking wokist robot after the match.

  38. Iago
    July 12, 2021

    For some time I have had a suspicion that we do not live in a democracy.
    ‘Three peers face being banned from facilities in the House of Lords after failing to take a controversial sexual harassment course.’

    1. Micky Taking
      July 13, 2021

      perhaps Sir John will list the courses he has had to take, certainly the H of C staff are being mind controlled to worry about the every sentence they utter, should they fall foul of unintended consequences.
      The thought police are alive and well.

  39. jon livesey
    July 12, 2021

    The comment this morning indicate pretty clearly that Covid/Brexit are no longer the dominating factors in national life.

  40. bill brown
    July 12, 2021

    Sir JR

    I am sorry the fans behaved like they did, we have as acountry been fined by UEFA because of the behaviour of ou our fans. SAD

    1. steve
      July 12, 2021

      bill brown

      And what of Italian fans praising their team for cheating against us ? do you not find that insulting ?

      Or perhaps you think cheating is acceptable.

      1. bill brown
        July 13, 2021

        I was at the match and the behaviour of a significant amount of our fans ws really not good at all

    2. Peter2
      July 12, 2021

      Not fans bill
      One idiot out of 60,000 with a laser pen.

      1. bill brown
        July 13, 2021

        Peter 2

        I was at the match as oppose to you andtheir were hundreds if not thousands wo behaved badly on a number of issues. But you always seem to ahve the answers even without chaeking the facts. There was a reason for the UEFA fine, but you always know best

        1. Peter2
          July 13, 2021

          You originally said…that was why we were fined by UEFA….the general behaviour of our fans
          That was wrong as the fine was due to the laser pen incident.

          You have now switched to a more generalised opinion about overall fan behaviour.
          Which is a different argument bill.

          1. bill brown
            July 14, 2021

            Peter 2

            The argument is the same as the fine was also imposed due to disturbance whilst playing national antems and fire-works, do you ever read before you given an opinion? I seem to recall Hef asked the same question

          2. Peter2
            July 14, 2021

            That wasnt what I’ve read bill.
            I’m looking at a headline in the Independent newspaper which says “Euro 2020: England fined £25,500 by UEFA after laser pointer used in semi- final win over Denmark”
            Have you got any link to prove what you are saying?

          3. Peter2
            July 14, 2021

            My complaint bill is that you said the fine was due to the general behaviour of our fans.
            The fine wasnt due to the general behaviour of our fans.
            You list three very specific incidents which do not amount to general behaviour.
            I do read bill.
            In fact I quoted what you said.

  41. steve
    July 12, 2021

    For my input to this topic I will say this:

    Firstly and foremost I am absolutely appalled by the behaviour of Italy’s players during last night’s game.

    I also find myself equally disgusted by the racist vitriol directed to three young players, of whom it must be said fought hard and honourably in representing our country. England expected of them, They delivered, consistently, and with the highest honour.

    Those boys fought like lions for our country, against a bigotted opponent that was allowed to cheat it’s way to victory.

    Additionally, In my opinion I do believe Suka, Stirling, Rashford et al have brought us the real victory – UNITY.
    I feel they have united the country where others have failed or in some cases made divisions even worse.

  42. BetterTimesAhead
    July 13, 2021

    The England Team can at long, long, last, move on to successful penalty taking.
    But only if the FA, the Manager and the players really want to succeed.

    Let’s face it, England are a national disgrace in this aspect.

    How many more times will we stand by and watch something we can quite easily improve?.

    We should be moving from being complete Amateur failures, to Professionals and the success that can lie ahead, if we only grasp the opportunity.

    We must understand and truly embrace and practice Sports Psychology.

    Why?

    1) The act of penalty taking is the perfect scenario for sports psychology to assist the player. It is not open play, but a short period of time, when player concentration strongly affects the outcome.
    2) Tennis players, athletes, golfers, rugby players, Olympic shooters, etc – all use sports psychology, with great outcomes.
    3) In Johnny Wilkinson, England had the greatest exponent of sports psychology when taking spot kicks.
    4) Look at athletes when they are preparing. In a trance like state where the mind is cleared and prepared successfully. Leaving the highly trained body to do its job.
    5) I have previously written to the FA asking if they could approach Johnny Wilkinson to become the spot kick coach for England’s football team. No reply.

    All the players selected for penalties must obviously have practiced the physical act of scoring penalties and those selected must be the best in the team. So those guys know they can technically take good penalties. Only the mental side needs to be sorted out, by sports pyschology.

    I’m not connected professionally with sports psychology. I only know how it can be applied with great success.

    The solution to our penalty taking disasters is within our own hands.

    I shall continue to ask the FA to adopt the modern concept of Sports Psychology, and to save the Nation from our everlasting failure at penalties..

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