Alan Shearer: The fans have played a huge part in England reaching the final
Former England captain Alan Shearer will be covering the Three Lions as part of our Matchday Squad throughout Euro 2020
Gareth and the team have given the country hope, excitement and smiles on our faces
England in the final of a major tournament for the first time in my lifetime, how good does that feel? I have hoped each time it comes around but you never believe it will happen until it does. We should all be extremely proud of what the team has achieved this summer.
All we wanted Gareth and the players to do was to give us hope, give us excitement and to put smiles on our faces, and they have done all of that and more.
The atmosphere has been incredible at Wembley every match, even with the different capacities allowed. It has been amazing and a privilege to be part of and I am so certain that it has played a huge part in helping the players. The fans have been behind the players every step of the way and they have got them through every round.
I said to my son this week that there are two things in football that I want him to see happen in his lifetime. The first is Newcastle winning something, which might never happen! The second is England doing the same. Let’s hope that they can now win it because if we do, the roof will come off Wembley. We are one game from greatness. To the players and all the staff, I can only say to enjoy it. To realise how proud you have made us all, how much we are behind you. Something special is happening.
Bold and brave Southgate got everything right again
It is so nervous being a fan watching these big knockout games. I found it far easier as a player, now as a fan I’m kicking every ball from the stands and constantly checking my watch to see how long is left. It was amazing to be part of the evening.
It was a different kind of game, the first time we have had to come from behind and a difficult challenge. They all stayed calm, got on the ball and never looked phased, and it was no surprise that they got level soon after conceding.
Denmark made it tough but after half-time England had all the right answers and were the better side. Gareth Southgate has made so many difficult decisions during this tournament and he has got every single one right.
Even the Grealish substitution in extra-time, that will have been tough for Jack to take, and he will have felt embarrassed and hurt, and maybe even angry, about it, but England then controlled the second period and didn’t really look in trouble. The manager has made big, bold and brave decisions throughout, and has been proved right.
People wanted Kane dropped – madness!
It wasn’t Kane’s finest penalty but that does not matter and he will have felt so relieved when the ball came back to him and he was able to put it away, and like all good strikers he was following up the original shot.
There were a few people who were calling earlier in the tournament for Harry Kane to be dropped. Madness! There was no way he could ever have been dropped. Southgate quashed that straight away and that will have helped Harry’s confidence no end and helped the team spirit. That was similar to what Terry Venables did with me in 1996 and I see similarities with what Gareth is doing to what Terry did for us.
The way Gareth has managed all the players who have been in and out of the starting eleven or even the subs bench has been absolutely brilliant man management.