Furious Southgate slams media over England tactical leaks and fans over ‘not normal’ personal criticism

Joe Williams
England boss Gareth Southgate
Gareth Southgate looks glum during a Euro 2024 match.

England boss Gareth Southgate has hit out at the media after tactical information continues to be leaked ahead of their Euro 2024 matches.

Bukayo Saka was the hero on Saturday evening as the Three Lions knocked out Switzerland on penalties to move into the semi-finals, where they will face the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

Not only did Saka equalise for England with a fine individual strike to cancel out Breel Embolo’s opener – to make it 1-1 and take the match to extra-time – he took the third of the five penalties all scored by Southgate’s side to secure a 5-3 win in the shoot-out.

It was leaked long in advance of kick-off against Switzerland that England would be moving to three at the back on Saturday night after Marc Guehi’s suspension.

The England team or tactics have been revealed in the media for each of their five matches so far at the tournament and Southgate has become annoyed at the leaks within the camp.

When asked how he can stop tactical information being leaked, Southgate told talkSPORT: “We can’t.

“We’re trying to win a football tournament and our own media are leaking tactical information two hours after we’ve walked off the training pitch.

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“They’ll excuse it my saying that they’ve got it from within the camp and maybe they have, but how does that help the team?

“How does it help the team to give the Swiss – who might have been expecting us to play differently – three days to work out what we might do?

“I have to say it because it’s the environment that we’re working in. It’s difficult, more difficult than it should be, but we’re still going.”

When asked if he can stop the England players from speaking to their agents, Southgate replied: “I don’t see that as being the problem.”

Southgate has come under a lot of criticism at the tournament over their poor performances, despite progression, and the England boss insists it has been “difficult to come to terms” with the personal jibes he’s received at Euro 2024.

The England boss continued: “I took this job to try and improve English football when I first joined the Football Association and then taking the seniors we wanted to rebuild confidence and give people nights like tonight.

“I can’t deny that when things are as personal as they’ve been, on a human level, I find that difficult to come to terms with given that this is the third semi-final we’ve been in in four tournaments.

“I don’t think it’s normal to have beer thrown at you, but maybe people think that it is.

“There are bits that I’ve difficult but I’m going to fight and I think that I’ve maintained a really positive approach with everybody in the camp and we’ve got the players in the best-possible space to be able to deliver as they have and we’re still fighting.

“We’re in another semi-final and we don’t want the story to end there.”