‘Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate’ as England fans respond to epic victory

Editor F365
Gareth Southgate celebrates
Gareth Southgate celebrates

There’s an awful lot of joy in this first England mailbox after the win over the Netherlands and quite a lot of ‘f*** you’ to the haters.

Send your mails on England to theeditor@football365.com


Football. Bloody hell.
I’ve steered clear of the mailbox the last week to ten days. Can’t be doing with the constant moaning and negativity despite us getting to the semi final.

That was a great performance, not perfect, but against a decent opponent England were the better team. I wanted Watkins to come on over Toney, better striker for me. He seemed sluggish at first but then pulls out that ABSOLUTE BEAUTY!! That’s what football is about, the ecstasy that winning gives you, especially from a losing position. That was close to the feeling I had when Moura put away his third to send Spurs to the CL final.

Win or lose in the final (for the record I think we will win), we will always have the memory of that feeling, that is why we love this game so much. Bit crap the final is 8pm on a Sunday night but what’s what sickies are for. Come on England!!!
Sam, THFC, Guernsey


…The last time I got so emotional over a goal was when England won that shootout against Columbia. This manager and team seem to know when I need a boost because much like back then, things are a bit difficult for me at the moment.

What a touch and what a finish from that young man.

Football really can be wonderful.
Jon, Lincoln

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 Euro 2024 Power Rankings: England seal top-two spot but Spain remain favourites
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


…Do I think he gets everything right? No.

Is he an absolute gent and a class act? Yes.

Has he happened to preside over the most consistently successful England side since the Woerls Cup win? Also yes.

He’ll do for me, will Gareth. Bring it home from Germany, and go off knowing that very few will ever come close to matching it.
Stu, Southampton


An apology
Sorry Gareth.
Stu, AFC


Hate on that if you can…
Looking forward to the mental gymnastics from the downers after that!

Best England manager for 50 years. None of this is achieved without him.

Spain deserve the trophy but that’s not how football works. Anything can happen.
Alex, South London


…Hey Gareth Southgate haters. Put that in your pipe and smoke it long and hard. No worries, you’ll still find a way to moan after that magnificent performance.

Absolutely laughing here!!!
TX Bill, EFC


…Anyone feeling compelled to write anything includes phrases such as “winning in spite of Gareth”, “easy side of the draw or “lucky” or whatever can… F**k. Right. Off.

Arise Sir Gareth of Southgate, Lord of the substitution.

This team – this squad – has the mentality to meet whatever it comes up against. I’m not even going to callback to my prescient email from earlier in the tournament about England holding something back and GS keeping cards close to his chest. Okay, maybe I just did.

That said, I will admit to having had a bit of an unjustified downer on (England’s) Phil Foden but, fair play, he put in one of the best 45 minutes I’ve seen from someone in an England shirt. Deserved a goal.
Chris Bridgeman, Kingston upon Thames


…I don’t care that it was a lucky pen, I don’t care if people moan about subs being too late, I don’t care that the starting XI on Sunday will be the same as it was tonight.

That was class. And Southgate has got the guts to take off his talisman forward, and the first half’s best player. I’m not a fan boy, but give him credit where it’s due.

As for credit – Watkins. That was a goal worthy of winning many games. Two absolutely fantastic touches.
Aidan, EFC, Hoxton
PS – take that van Dijk


…Wow, we got over the line against the Dutch, in 90 minutes.

We were the better team, had luck with the penalty, but we’re in a second Euros final in a row!

For all of the moaners out there; go for a walk, play scrabble, do whatever else you want to do on Sunday evening as I’m sure you don’t want to watch this terrible England team play football.

I’m not saying it but….Come on England!!!!
Brian (chuffed to bits) BRFC


Even the VAR loves him
Excellent manager Gareth Southgate is playing 4D chess, and you’re all too blinkered to see it.

He’s even bending VAR to his will now.
Jeremy Aves

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 Euro 2024 Power Rankings: England seal top-two spot but Spain remain favourites
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


Actually, that was a penalty
I’m really really baffled at the suggestion England’s penalty was anything other than nailed on.

If Denzel had been out of his area, charging out of defence to clear a long ball and Kane had gone in on him, missed the ball, studs up and made heavy contact at that height at an absolute minimum everyone would expect a free kick, yellow very likely and many modern refs would have red carded him for excessive force. It’s irrelevant if Denzel had cleared the ball first.

It’s not really a big deal or controversial it’s just a fact, backed up by the VAR team and the ref on the day when he has had a look. Not everything with England has to be dramatic, controversial and debated. It’s a really easy call, exactly what VAR is there for.

The number one reason I hate VAR is the delayed emotions to a goal. Number two is this nonsense when pundits make out a very obvious foul as massively controversial just because it’s in a very specific area of the pitch. There is nowhere else outside of the Dutch box that anyone debates that as foul at a minimum.

Great performance, great win, Gareth out asap.
Dave, Dumfries


Southgate still out, actually
Well, there you go.

The two highest English assisters and scorers in the Premier League combined, combine to score what should be the winner.

Who knew.

Southgate out after this tournament.
Mat, Leeds


Kane should not start the final
Firstly, wow what a refreshing performance. Lively, positive and decisive football finally by England. Palmer and Watkins served up in just a few minutes what Kane has failed to do all tournament. He spent most of his time in line or behind Foden and Bellingham and Saka’s balls into the box were totally wasted.

What I want to know is when did Kane get this delusion that he’s Lionel Messi? He can’t run at players or dribble round them or score from outside the box, he’s only effective in the box and he hasn’t been there. As such he’s a total waste. Against Spain we will only be as good as our weakest link and that’s why Southgate needs to grow a pair and drop him.

I’ve seen this before as a Spurs fan many times, especially 2019 when Moura got us through to the final when he was promptly dropped and Kane failed to do anything and we lost as Kane’s influence over Poch was similar to his power over Southgate. Why does Southgate always make it so hard when we could be scoring so many more goals from the start with Palmer and Watkins on the pitch from the first minute? They can attack and run at players, something Kane can’t do!

Thanks to the whole team for such an incredible performance. Unbelievable heart and Foden was unreal! Very very proud night and feels unreal!
Robert, Marbella
PS This is just an opinion and probably completely wrong as Southgate keeps proving me wrong. I don’t know how but he does!


Netherlands v England: A journey
Pre-match: yeah, obviously, look, I’m going to try and be positive this time. Maybe my low expectations and sense that lessons aren’t being learned are making the performances shite, not the manager’s near-criminal inaction.

Apropos to nothing, it seems like we’re seeing no changes to the line-up bar the return of Guehi. Great consistency and trust from the manager. Who needs changes when it’s all going so well? Obviously.

First half:
Brilliant National Anthem. Wonderful stuff!

Positive football so far, but they look quick on the break. Saka makes a lovely run through the middle, and then waits for someone to make a run… which absolutely no one does. But lovely work from the lad.

Oh damn. Rice gets caught on the ball, and that is some goal from the lad Simons past the T-Rex arms of shouty.

Couple of free kicks to England in quick succession but so far no threat from them. Play is much faster though, Kane gets his shots taken numbers up a bit. And then wins an absurd penalty, which he tucks away very well. Game on!

Lovely link up from Mainoo and Foden that is cleared off the line! Whole side seems to have upped their game. Well, apart from Walker and Trippier, anyway. Cracking effort from Foden, smacks the post. And another lovely link up with Mainoo for a nice shot. Those two are clicking beautifully. Saka doing diagonal runs but not getting space to shoot or a pass to slide. Bellingham doing some lovely bits but not quite coming off.

Kane drifting deep and wide to do Kane stuff. I don’t know why, it doesn’t seem to help much but it is what it is and England’s best ever manager seems to think it’s great.

Overall much brighter from our boys. Early threat from the Dutch seems to have faded, coincidentally now Depay is off. Deserved to be back in the game, maybe even ahead, but shame it took a shady penalty to do it.

Second half
The man the legend the myth, Mr Shaw, is on. Malen off, which is a surprise considering his raw pace.

Saka pulls another lovely ball back to the massive open space in the penalty area. Kane calls for the ball from defence and then runs back to the defence to give it back. Impressive.

Mainoo seems to have instructed to stay deeper, maybe to give Bellingham and Rice more space, so isn’t getting to link with Foden like he was, which is odd as that was working so well.

As a result, the fluidity has gone. We’re back playing in our half and sideways again. Foden making some lovely runs, but Kane is no where to be seen in the dangerous areas to receive the pass. I’m sure it’s tactical that’s beyond my simple brain to see.

Dutch are coming at us, two saves from Pickford already. Thankfully Weghorst is ensuring he gives free kicks away. Not really seen Simons much, which is good as he looked dangerous early on.

England going no where, no shots to Netherlands’ 3 or 4. Then a chance and goal by Saka doing what a striker should do at the near post, but sadly Walker offside.

80th minute tactical change: Foden, our brightest player of the game so far, is off, but so is Kane so that’s good. A striker to get behind and the always-fun Palmer are on.

Guehi saves our bacon with a cracking selfless body block on the flying Dutch elbows of Wegy.

Bellingham showing some delightful Foden/Mainoo-esq skill and touches.

Saka does a tactical foul. The boy is learning.

Cross field to Shaw, lovely touch, nice ball into to the danger area and Watkins almost capitalises.

Oh my days, Watkins scores a fabulous goal with a fast turn and finish after perfect pass from Palmer. Wow! See what happens when you have a striker on? Now that’s what we’re talking, let’s go!

Oh, on come two defenders. Well, ok, 93rd minute, let’s just see it out.

And we’ve done it! A tasty final awaits!

Final thought:
Well, that was much improved. Crappy second half after a really good first – presumably it was too much fun for the manager – and a solidly dubious penalty, but overall we absolutely deserved the win. And that was a lovely finish by the lad Watkins, who steals Foden’s MOTM for 10m work.

Please sir, can we play with a striker from the beginning next match? Humbly yours,

👉 16 Conclusions on England 2-1 Netherlands: Watkins, subs, Mainoo, Southgate, *that* penalty and more
👉 Euro 2024 Power Rankings: England seal top-two spot but Spain remain favourites
👉 England player ratings v Netherlands: Watkins a national hero as Foden, Mainoo shine


Maybe things are okay?
Remember this article?

England in the Euros final somehow without their Premier League counterparts. Labour government. UK actually are top 20 of happiness rankings even if Johnny isn’t. Maybe things aren’t as bad as Johnny Nicholson says after all. What a shock.