Day 188 of 365: Thank You England

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I wouldn’t bother watching the Euro 2020 finals at home. Do I need to mention what team I support? Ok let me do a brief recap from articles past. I have been a big fan of the English National Team since the 2002 World Cup which held in Korea/Japan even though I have been following them since Michael Owen’s beautiful goal against Argentina at the France ’98 World Cup.

At this Euro 2020 tournament, in all 6 games England have played so far I have only seen one at the comfort of my home and it ended in a goalless draw against Scotland. The other 5 I saw outside my crib and they all ended in victory for the 3 Lions. The sweetest was the 2:0 win over Germany.

At the start of Euro 2020 England were my primary team as expected and I also added France and Portugal into the equation because really I didn’t expect England to go past the semi-finals but France and Portugal seem to have a chance before the tournament kicked off. Both France and Portugal played in the Group of Death (Group F) which also had Germany and Hungary. However, both teams were eliminated in the second by Switzerland and Belgium respectively.

England is the only team standing of the 3 and they booked a place in the finals of the Euros for the first time in their history this night. I told a few friends that if England beat Ukraine in the quarter-finals they would make it to the final. To be honest I was on the edge of my seat after Denmark took the lead via a well-taken freekick by Mikkel Damsgaard in the 30th minute. It was the first goal England was conceding at the tourney. A Simon Kjaer own goal levelled scores for England before Harry Kane slotted home from a rebound off a penalty he took in Extra Time of the game. 2:1 the game ended. So it is England versus Italy at the Euro 2020 final, like my man Zoba said it is Savile Row suits up against Armani suits. Lol.

Gareth Southgate has my respect after going one better than the 2018 World Cup semi-final by taking England to the final of a major tournament for the first time in 55 years. I still have issues with him starting both Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in the same game, that’s way too defensive in my books. Anyway if the Italians can revert to Catenaccio who is England in the scheme of things.  I will however single Phillips out for praise because I never believed he would have been a solid box to box player. The dude is very industrious too.

I will also give credit to Southgate for being able to manage this squad (unlike when Sven-Goran Eriksson had the best bunch of English talents between 2001 and 2006 ), he has not repeated a starting eleven in this tourney. Yes, I had issues with him not starting Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho in most of the games, you see I didn’t mention Marcus Rashford before people say I am attaching sentiments.

Is it coming home? I pray so, but I am proud to say I saw England play in a major final in my lifetime. Where will I be watching the final? I will have to give it some thought. Thank you, England.

CHEERS!!!

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