Alan Shearer: “Southgate got all the big decisions right against Germany”

Gareth Southgate

Former England captain Alan Shearer will be covering the Three Lions as part of our Matchday Squad throughout Euro 2020

It was great to be there at Wembley yesterday and be part of that fantastic evening. I know there were only 40,000 in the stadium, but it felt like 140,000 at times.

There was nothing between the two teams in the first half. In the second half we were much better. We got a bit of luck when Muller broke through with a chance to equalise when it was 1-0. The second goal then made sure of the result.

A lot of credit must go to Gareth Southgate as that was a bold team selection. Every decision he has made in the tournament up to now has been proven right. It was a great evening and just extra special that we were able to beat Germany in a knockout game at a major tournament.

Kane may catch fire now for England

Don’t be surprised if we see Harry Kane catch fire now. I know the life as a striker. You could see the relief in his face when that goal went in.

He missed a big chance just before half-time so to put that behind him and then score the winning goal, it is a credit to him.

England have been winning games without him firing so that all bodes well ahead of their next game and hopefully further into the tournament.

England will never have a betting chance of reach a major final

England will never have a better chance of reaching the final of a European Championship than they do now. The draw has fallen very kindly for them. If you were to handpick a draw, this would be it. Having said all that, we are away from Wembley for the first time against Ukraine in Rome and we can’t take any team lightly.

We have to go and make the most of it now. It wouldn’t surprise me if we revert to a back four for the Ukraine game. Otherwise, it’s likely to be a similar team with two holding midfielders once again.

I think Gareth is looking at this and trying to keep games tight until the last half hour. With the amount of firepower we have on the bench, there are so many players who can change a game. We have a better depth of squad than any other team left in this tournament.”

Pickford has been superb in goal for England

Jordan Pickford has kept four clean sheets in this tournament now and Shearer has hailed the performances from the Everton ‘keeper over the last few years.

We see a very different Jordan Pickford for England. He seems to relish the atmosphere and playing for his country. When he plays for Everton, he is eccentric at times. That’s not the case in an England shirt. He looks very focussed and calm.

Pickford has been a brilliant player for us over the last few years. He was excellent in 2018 in helping us reach the semi-final. He is doing exactly the same thing now.

His saves for the Werner and Havertz chances were excellent. Although he did not save the Muller shot, he made it as hard as possible for him. There is no doubt he has played a huge part. That’s his fourth clean sheet of the tournament and let’s hope that continues.

The back three looked solid throughout the game

The back three were superb throughout the game. That system does not work without Kyle Walker. His pace and ability to recover is vital. John Stones got the timings of his tackles spot on. It’s also great to see Harry Maguire back fit. He looks like he has never been away.

Luke Shaw played his role in the two goals. He got forward well throughout the game and his deliveries into the box were excellent.

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