Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Shaw does not understand Southgate criticism as England eye Euro 2024 final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2024

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Luke Shaw does not understand criticism of England manager Gareth Southgate, who is looking to lead the Three Lions to successive European Championship finals.

Having lost the final of the delayed 2020 edition on penalties to Italy, England are just one game away from the Euro 2024 showpiece game after beating Switzerland on spot-kicks on Saturday.

They face the Netherlands in the last four on Wednesday, with Southgate looking to become the first Three Lions manager to lead the team to a tournament final on foreign soil.

Saturday’s quarter-final was Southgate’s 100th game in charge of England. He has led the team to three semi-finals in four tournaments at the helm, after they reached two semi-finals in their previous 17 competitions before his appointment.

His 13 major tournament (World Cup/Euros) wins are the most of any Three Lions boss, while only Walter Winterbottom (383) and Alf Ramsey (224) have overseen more England goals as manager (210).

Despite his record, Southgate has continued to be criticised over a perceived negative approach in Germany, with some fans throwing cups at him after a goalless group-stage draw with Slovenia.

“I don’t understand the criticism,” Shaw said on Monday. “What he’s done for the country and us players, he’s taken us to the next level.

“No manager has been as successful as he has recently. Us players love him, he’s exactly what we need.

“He allows us to go out on the pitch and be our best. He’s shown a lot of faith and trust in picking me.”

Shaw made his first appearance of the tournament off the bench against Switzerland, having seen his 2023-24 season ended in February by a hamstring injury.

While the Manchester United man has not enjoyed watching on from the sidelines, he was always convinced England would progress despite falling behind in both of their knockout ties thus far, against Slovakia and Switzerland.

“It was tough. I felt more nervous watching than playing, it is quite tough,” he said. “I never once thought that we were going to go out, we have to believe right to the end.

“Good moments like Jude Bellingham’s [overhead kick versus Slovakia] can happen, but it’s down to us to deliver that on the pitch. Game by game we are getting better, there’s things we can still improve on but we’re looking good.”

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