As the Euro 2020 competition continues and some of the hottest teams fight for a spot in the final, it’s time to wonder if the cup is coming home!
One of the best matches in the bracket released earlier last week, was the one between England and Germany scheduled for today. The English team had a difficult and tall task in hand facing a tough and competitive German team who was part of the “group of death” in the group stages.
So, how did this match go and why are we wondering if it’s coming home? Let’s get to it!
England – It’s Coming Home Hopes Lifted!
Since the start of the tournament, the English National Team have been the favorites to win it all.
The English possess a team filled of youthful talent with lots of creativity, giving the English fans a lot of hope to bring Euro 2020 home finally. When you look up and down the English National Team roster, there are some top tier names that pop up and immediately give England an edge over some of these other national teams.
In today’s match when they faced the last-standing team in group F as that group basically evaporated, many had strong doubts in England’s capabilities to challenge and beat Germany. The doubts were somewhat strong and agreeable, especially as the German’s have shown a strong midfield and offensive game all throughout this competition which showed throughout majority of this game.
Many across social media platforms were calling for Gareth Southgate to bring in creative pieces and rightfully so! While Germany maintained ball possession for majority of the game, it seemed as England was doing whatever it took to defend at their best. Finally, as the 69th minute mark approached, Southgate made some changes.
At the 69th minute, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish would enter the game substituting for Bukayo Saka who was having a great game. From there on, all hell broke lose for Germany as the English would unload a massive attack that would bring the crowd at Wembley Stadium today into a state of pandemonium.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 29, 2021
Who Impressed Today?
So, not only did Jack Grealish send England into full festivity mode, but even as England struggled for ball possession, there were some characters that stood out. For starters, Jordan Pickford was a BRICK WALL for England in net. The Everton keeper has been under a lot of scrutiny for how he did earlier this year for the club, however it seems as though anytime Pickford wears those English colors, he is just a complete different animal. Whenever Pickford was challenged today, he held his ground strongly for England giving the boys a lot of confidence and desire to keep fighting.
Another one that thrived for England today was Luke Shaw! Shaw, who has been dealing with heavy criticism from a previous manager truly exceled today for England. As soon as Grealish came in, Shaw was able to show why he is such a lethal force! In the 75th minute, him and Grealish combined for a play that would leave Raheem Sterling to score the first goal of the match via a great cross-pass from Shaw.
Later in the match, Shaw linked with Grealish again! It would be this time though, where Shaw would leave Grealish in great position to cross a perfect ball for Harry Kane to tap in and score the 2nd and final goal of this match.
Lastly, Harry Maguire! Wow, as a Manchester United fan I’ve had my frustrations with him but today, he silenced many including myself. Maguire was solid in defense for England and maybe part the reason why Germany’s attack failed today! Won all 6 aerial duels in defense and 4/6 challenges in the box, hence why Maguire would go to win today’s Man of the Match!
Rock at the back.
Harry Maguire 🌟 pic.twitter.com/0wBx80eq1c
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 29, 2021
So, Do I Think The Euro 2020 Comes Home?
Personally, England impressed me today. However, my worries remain with how Southgate manages this squad. So far through the euro 2020 tournament, Southgate has yet to utilize key components of what make this team such a lethal force. In example, we have yet to see Jadon Sancho get his opportunity in this tournament. We have hardly seen Marcus Rashford, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jude Bellingham involved as well.
If anything, I think that today truly showed Southgate that these formation experiments he keeps testing may finally create an issue for him going forward and it needs to stop right away. Let’s be realistic here about the fact that if Grealish hadn’t come in, I am not sure that England would’ve advanced. So Gareth, if you’re out there, you got to figure stuff out right away!
I am not entirely sold on the idea of the trophy coming home to England. I will say though that after today, they do have a realistic shot. After all, I wouldn’t mind a world-class final between England and Italy for what has been a very exciting and thrilling tournament.
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~Diego Galvis (@Diego_TheDJ On Twitter).