Raheem Sterling’s brilliance was key to England’s success at Euro 2020, according to Jamie Carragher | football news
Former England defender Jamie Carragher believes Raheem Sterling is the main candidate for a Euro 2020 player after the striker’s impressive performance in the semi-final win over Denmark.
Having scored three times in England’s first four matches, Sterling was instrumental in Ukraine’s 4-0 quarter-final defeat last weekend and caused Denmark’s defense problems all night at Wembley on Wednesday, as England won 2-1 after extra time. .
That win put England in their first major final in 55 years and they face Italy again at Wembley on Sunday night.
Asked who impressed him the most in the semi-finals at Wembley, Carragher said Sky Sports News: “Raheem Sterling.
“I said this after the group matches, I think Raheem Sterling was the best player in England for the long term.
“There was a lot of talk in the competition that his position in the team was ready, which I couldn’t understand because he was special at that. [manager] Gareth Southgate since the World Cup, over two or three years.
“And especially the way Harry Kane plays, where he goes deeper into the ball and tries to get it, you have to have people running behind and walking behind.
“I think before this tournament starts, the first two names on the team sheet, if everyone is fit, would be Harry Kane and Harry Maguire – but now Raheem Sterling has to join those two.
“The tournament player usually comes from the country that won the tournament, but not all the time.
“Italy will yell a few shouts, left-back [Leonardo Spinazzola] who unfortunately will not play in the final [due to injury] and Federico Kiza came and did a great job. Central defenders as well.
“It’s not just Raheem Sterling in the England squad – I think Harry Maguire has made a huge impact since his return, Harry Kane is now back to what we expect of him in terms of goals and performance.
“But I think Raheem Sterling, at the moment, has to lose, shall we?”
Kara’s early predictions for the Euro 2020 finals
“I think it will be a very difficult match. I think it could go to penalties and England come out victorious.
“We’ve done a lot of work on penalties, so let’s not let that go to waste!
“I don’t think there will be a lot of goals in the game. Italy are very strong defensively, as are England.
“I think it will be 1-1 and then I go to the penalty shootout.
“I think it’s the right final. I think they were the two most impressive teams in this competition – and the winner takes it all on Sunday.”
Neville: Gorgeous..England deserves it
Gary Neville praised the ‘amazing’ atmosphere at Wembley and said Southgate and his players deserved their shot for history.
“The atmosphere at Wembley was absolutely fantastic,” Neville said. Sky Sports News.
“Gareth Southgate said it was the best atmosphere he had seen at the new Wembley. Obviously he was at Euro 96 in the Netherlands game where we beat them 4-1 and it was special against the Netherlands, especially against Spain in the quarter-finals. But last night it seemed more Privacy.
“Maybe it was because I was in the crowd and I was in that second division. I was among them and also the fact that we hadn’t had a real fan presence in the stadiums for 18 months, it just felt like it was a huge outpouring of emotion.
“He was amazing on points in the match and even before the match. I’m not surprised that in the first half of the hour the players were a bit frantic and didn’t show composure in their performance. They were a bit impressed but to be honest, you couldn’t be; the noise was all around you. So amazing.
“It’s OK to say that footballers have to get away from the atmosphere but they’ve been feeling it for two or three days. They’ve been called by families and friends and they’ve obviously come into the pitch and they’re there near the pitch, and you can feel it.
Then they settled down half an hour later, but the crowd was an absolute joy and a dream.
“I’m very happy and happy that we won but actually it wasn’t the most important thing.
“It’s a fact that I really trust the coach that we’ve got. I really think the players are a good group of players who love to play for England, and who have removed all the cynicism and clumps that I was a part of for so many years with England.”
“So, credit to them. They deserved what they got for the way they treated themselves. Not only on the pitch, but off the field as well.”
“Never a penalty in a million years.”
Denmark coach Kasper Hjolmand has strongly criticized the decision to award England a penalty for a foul on Raheem Sterling in the first half of extra time.
Neville agrees it was a tough decision but believes England would have gone on to win the match anyway.
“There is never a penalty in a million years,” Neville said.
“I’m always thinking, ‘What are the headlines, how are we going to feel this morning, if we’re on the other end of that punishment?
“We will be completely devastated.
“But I really think the team would have succeeded without that penalty. I think they would have done something different and achieved that goal.
“When (Casper) Dolberg and (Mikel) Damsgaard came out to Denmark, the game completely changed and they lost their legs.
“I think the goal was to come.
“It was never a penalty, it was really soft, but I’m glad we got it!”
It’s time to give Saka a break
Neville says Gareth Southgate was right to start Bukayo Saka in the semi-final against Denmark – but thinks the Arsenal youngster could sit on the bench for Sunday’s final against Italy.
Saka got the nod to start on Wednesday – after impressing earlier in the tournament – and justified his choice by providing a cross that turned Simon Keir into his net to equalize England.
But Saka won’t turn 20 until September and Neville believes it would be best to use the hot youngster off the bench against the Italians.
“I agreed to bring him [Saka] He came back last night because I felt he was the most energetic player, besides Raheem Sterling,” said Neville.
“I’m not sure he’ll start on Sunday. I think that could be a lot for him.
“What he did last night, the amount he gave in this tournament, I just feel like we’ll see someone else.
“I look at (Giorgio) Chiellini and (Leonardo) Bonucci, and I think, who wouldn’t want to be in those wide areas, having them run inside?
“And I actually think it could be a match for (Marcus) Rashford or (Jadon) Sancho to accompany Sterling in those wide positions.
“I think those wide positions have to be fast players, competing in running, so I don’t think we’ll see Saka on Sunday.
“I think it might be one match too much for him.
“I was there at Euro 1996 when I was 21 years old and was completely tired while going through the tournament.
“I just feel that, on Sunday, it might be easy to get it and it [Southgate] He might bring in other players who didn’t play on Wednesday night.”
Redknapp: Southgate surprised me with the choices
Jamie Redknapp says Southgate was tough enough to make a few snap calls during his tenure – and it has paid off so far.
The duo were England teammates who reached the semi-finals of Euro 1996 – and Redknapp says that even then Southgate had been showing some of the traits that made him such a success as a coach.
“He was always the rational person in the Euro 96 squad, but that wasn’t difficult, if I’m honest!” Redknapp said.
“He’s definitely a thoughtful guy, not necessarily more than anyone else, but, to put it that way, he wasn’t in the dentist’s chair. He was one of the guys who stayed behind and he was very sane.
“Gareth was a great coach and a good footballer. He knew his strengths, he knew his limits, but he was always a thinking guy and that’s why he’s doing so well with this team.
“He’s lucky he’s got some really good young players because no matter how good you coach you are, if you don’t have the tools to work with them, you don’t have a chance, and I think that’s a really strong thing. Generation of players, there are a lot of good young players who They wish to learn.
“I think we also have to give a lot of respect and almost a little gratitude to the coaches that these players work with.
“A lot of them work every day with Pep Guardiola [at Manchester City], Thomas Tuchel [at Chelsea] And managers who are very successful, so they learn from some of the best coaches in the world.
“Gareth is reaping the rewards and we are fortunate to have this group of players.
“But we also have a manager who is so calm and sound that he knows what he’s doing.
“He surprised me with how strong he was in some of the decisions he made.
“Some of the teams he chose I would never have picked, and a lot of footballers who know the game inside out would say the same.
“So, you have to say it’s all right, so far. So, fingers crossed, he can do it again in the final.”
Drink it in… England are in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 1966 after their overtime win over Denmark at Wembley in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
Kate Borlaga joins Rob Dorsett, Pete Smith and Nick Wright to discuss a date night, and whether this ‘new England’ squad can go to the extreme against Italy on Sunday.