Euro 2020 Final Round Up & Thoughts On Competition


The month has flown by and the Euros are now over. After an extra years wait it was always bound to be a tournament fans jumped straight into as anticipation was just growing and growing due to the delay. It was safe to say us England fans weren't sure what to expect due to how we have performed in previous competitions and the heartbreak we always seem to endure. It was safe to say though our performances had been brilliant and we finally brought hope and excitement to the nation which hasn't had much to cheer about lately just like the rest of the world.

Honestly I never expected to see England in the final of a major tournament in my lifetime as it has always felt we were cursed to fall just before we got there so to be able to experience them in the final was fantastic, let's just hope we don't have to wait as long next time for us to reach another (next year in the World Cup would be very nice). I think we were definitely going into this as the underdogs thanks to Italy's unbeaten run but honestly I was hopeful, some of the performances we had put in previously showed just how much we were capable of. 

England started off well getting Italy on the back foot and really pushing them, we saw how we could draw in their defence and create space straight away which led to Shaw scoring in under 4 minutes giving us the lead. Honestly Shaw is my player of the tournament as he seems to have been everywhere, defending really well, creating assists, linking up well with others and really getting us in some threatening positions. It was great to see how well he worked alongside Sterling too and this could be a great link up for years to come for England if they both stay fit and at the top of the game. I am really glad he finished off the competition with a goal for himself as he definitely deserved one.

I honestly don't think Italy looked their best throughout the game and in fact I think they looked scared of England for the majority of the first half. However, that definitely all changed in the second half and Italy has the upper hand whilst England looked shaky, I don't know what was said in the changing rooms at half time but it definitely worked in Italy's favour and totally changed the way England played. Italy got their goal in the form of a very scrappy one from a corner and to be honest England should have done better defensively to keep it out but it went in and we had to suffer through extra time. 

My nerves have never been as bad as they were for extra time as England looked poor and Italy were looking like they could go on and win the game if they really wanted to but we some how kept it at 1-1 and end up going to penalties... an outcome I had been dreading since we found out we were in the final. There were a few questionable decisions throughout the whole game though that could have really changed the outcome as should Italy have ended the game with all 11 players on the pitch? The pull back on Saka was absolutely ridiculous and clearly stopped him making what could have been a dangerous break. Then we had the 'stamp' on Grealish studs were shown and there was just no need, we have seen players sent off for a lot less recently. As soon as the game went to penalties I think everyone just knew Italy had won it and it is unfortunate as I don't think they really deserved to win like that. When it came to the penalties I don't think Southgate did it right either as I don't think he used the right players and leaving it all down to young Saka was too much, it should have been someone with more big game experience as this moment is always going to be in the back of his mind now but good on him for stepping up and taking it. It is easy to sit on your sofa and say how did a player miss that but when you are in that moment on the pitch with the whole nation on your back it is going to be totally different so credit should be given where it is due as it was the young ones who stepped up to that pressure and it just unfortunately didn't pay off for them but it took a lot to step up in the first place and face that pressure. 

I think throughout the whole of the game England were tactically behind, we took too long to get on the attack and we took far too long to make the changes that were needed which could have won us the game or at least had us looking a whole lot stronger.  We should have added pace in the first half of extra time by bring on Rashford and Sancho as that speed would have troubled Italy and with plenty of them having yellow cards it would really have piled on the pressure. Plus I don't think it is fair how Rashford and Sancho have barely played all month and got brought on just for the pressure of penalties, get them on sooner and give them chance to impact the game and actually get focused on what is happening first. I can't even being to imagine the pressure they were facing. 

Saka should honestly hold his head high as this was his first big tournament and he has shown us all the potential he possesses and the fact he is only 19 years old just lets us know he can only rise up from the occasion and become a better player from it. In fact the whole team can hold their heads high and be proud of the past month as they have got further than any other male England team since 66 and shown we are a force to be reckoned with. WE have shown just how much talent we have and to be honest with us being so young I think this could be a team we see for many more years and we have sent out a warning to other teams. The team managed to unite a nation and give us something to look forward to for a full month not just a few weeks and they brought the love of football back to people who were slowly drifting away. They have also inspired another generation to go out and kick the ball about either with friends or as part of a team which is brilliant to see and something that I hope to see for years to come. 

Overall the tournament was fantastic all month round with plenty of joy and excitement brought to the nations competing after such a long time of heartache and uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic. We have seen some fantastic results that definitely have shocked everyone, like watching Switzerland come back to knock France out of the competition which I don't think anyone expected and at the start of the month who would have thought England would have been in the final? I know I definitely didn't. It has been a great tournament as nothing has been a given and results have been all over the place which I love as I hate it when you can call every game before kick off and it is always good to see underdogs doing well.  We have also seen a few nasty injuries and incidents which shocked the world... we had Castagne from Belgium with the nasty eye socket injury which could have potentially ended his career if it has been a few inches away from its final position. Then we saw the awful incident with Eriksen in the very early stages of the competition but what was great to see if he is making a full recovery and how the world of football came together to show support for not only him but his Danish team mates too, it was nice to see this touching moment from the football community. Denmark then had a great tournament and you could tell they were playing to prove themselves without Eriksen whilst also trying to win it for him.

It has been a nice change for a tournament not to be all about the big names too as it has actually been the smaller more unknown players who have stood out from the crowd and put in the best performances which is great as it has definitely brought a lot more players to our attention that we might not have possibly heard of previously. It is safe to say if these players manage to stay injury free then the future of football is in very good hands as there is a lot of potential on show. 

Seeing fans back in the stadium has been great too as it has definitely been missed due to the pandemic, granted stadiums weren't at full capacity like we wished they had been but it has just given us an extra glimpse of hope that things are slowly but surely returning to some normality. We have seen communities come together and a nation united now we just need to keep that up and put the same amount of support back into our local clubs at all levels as the new seasons begin as those clubs are going to need all the help they can get whilst recovering from the pandemic and we have shown as a nation just how good our support can be so it is time to show that locally too. Plus we have the Women from Team GB to cheer on before any of the seasons start and we have a really strong chance of bring back a medal from that competition too. 

I wish I wasn't ending the post as I am but England's defeat has gone to show once again why more action needs to be to kick racism out of the game. If those penalties that were missed went in everyone would be calling the players heroes today but as they were missed the comments they are receiving are absolutely disgraceful and aren't needed. Those players stepped up and did there jobs but unfortunately things didn't go their way, yes you might have an opinion but keep it to yourself there is no need to send it to those players who are feeling bad enough, we should be trying to lift them back up and get them on track to get back to winning ways. Those 'fans' sending abuse aren't fans at all and it is time we got rid of them from the beautiful game, social media needs to step up and do more to combat it and fans need to learn there is no place for it.

The Euro's might be over but there is plenty more football to come and we will be covering as much as possible over the coming months before the actual seasons start as this year it just seems like football never stops... but that definitely isn't a bad thing. 

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