Netherlands v England takes us back 43 or 110 years; take your pick

Editor F365
England front pages
England front pages

You know it’s the day of a big England game when the English press lose their minds; a 110-year-old poster, is it?

Dutch oven
The front page of The Sun is a wonderful self-own about the anachronistic nature of newspapers.

Anybody born after about 1980 (including Jude Bellingham) will be utterly baffled by the reference.

Though all really is forgiven for ‘can you hear me Vincent van Gogh?’. Well bloody played.

And at least the reference wasn’t 110 years old…


No Dutch picnic
On the pages of The Sun website, they sound a note of alarm:

TROUBLE DUTCH. NETHERLANDS v ENGLAND: Southgate dealt selection headache for blockbuster Euro 2024 semi-final clash.

The ‘selection headache’ that is prompting this ‘TROUBLE DUTCH’? Brace yourselves.

England have a ‘fully fit squad’. With no suspensions.

This sh*t just got serious.

👉 No Kane or Foden in England teams picked to play the Netherlands
👉 Eusebio, penalties, Germans, Southgate: ranking England’s six previous major tournament semi-finals
👉 Ranked: All of Gareth Southgate’s England subs at Euro 2024, from pointless to actually good


Definitely no Dutch picnic
But if you think England have it bad with all their fit and available players, spare a thought for the Netherlands. The Mirror bring us the big news:

Netherlands in Euro 2024 chaos as England plans cancelled and UEFA release statement

‘Euro 2024’ chaos sounds bad. And you know what sounds even worse? A ‘horror journey’. That sounds awful and something that absolutely had to be ‘endured’.

In shock news, it transpires that the Dutch could not travel on the train so they had to seek ‘alternative plans’.

And what were those ‘alternative plans’? A coach? A horse and cart? A platoon of Ubers?

Worse, they had to ‘endure’ a ‘plane’. Sounds awful.

Over to Ronald Koeman to describe the ‘chaos’ and the ‘horror journey’:

“Strange, but no problem at all. We were in the bus in front of the hotel, we hadn’t left yet. The players were able to rest for two to two-and-a-half hours in the hotel. Otherwise they would have had to do that on the train.

“In the end, the trip was shorter than by train. So it was better to get here this way. It’s fine.”

So to precis: The ‘horror journey’ was quicker and better.


The Entitled
Even if we ignore the fact that the Daily Mail‘s Ian Ladyman has been among England and Gareth Southgate’s staunchest critics at this tournament, this headline is kind of patronising nonsense makes Mediawatch’s skin itch:

The gratitude shown towards Gareth Southgate’s England at the start of his reign has withered and a sense of entitlement has returned… it’s death or glory now, writes IAN LADYMAN

‘Sense of entitlement’? Is it really a ‘sense of entitlement’ that makes England fans believe they deserve more than one 90-minute win in five games against opposition ranked 32nd, 21st, 57th, 45th and 19th in the world?

Ladyman notes that England were happy enough to lose in a World Cup semi-final just six years ago – two summers after losing a last-16 Euros clash with Iceland – and they won’t be now. Odd that. Must be a ‘sense of entitlement’ and not just, well, a sense of perspective.

Now here we are, approaching the end of the Southgate era after almost eight years. England play in another semi-final tonight against the Netherlands. It is the third in four tournaments under him, but the gratitude of old has withered and a sense of entitlement – the curse of English football for so long – has returned.

‘The curse of English football’!

Silly English football fans; should they be grateful to reach a European Championship semi-final regardless of how they got there? We’re sure the Mail will react with nothing but ‘gratitude’ if England fail to beat the Netherlands.

Here’s just a selection of headlines from Ladyman pieces in the last few weeks:

Time for England’s decorated players to step out of the dark and show their true colours, writes IAN LADYMAN… this England squad contains serial winners, but where have they been?

England’s tournament has been characterised by bickering and arguing on the pitch, writes IAN LADYMAN… Gareth Southgate’s side now must step up and let their football do the talking

Gareth Southgate is tied up in knots by his safety-first ideology… he must change NOW if England are to win Euro 2024, writes IAN LADYMAN

England’s big name players have not brought their true selves to this stage – they look lost and are a team waiting to be beaten, writes IAN LADYMAN

Gareth Southgate’s flawed England tactics have resulted in frazzled minds, chaos and a team shredded of self-respect, writes IAN LADYMAN

Maybe IAN LADYMAN was writing about his own ‘sense of entitlement’.

👉 No Kane or Foden in England teams picked to play the Netherlands
👉 Eusebio, penalties, Germans, Southgate: ranking England’s six previous major tournament semi-finals
👉 Ranked: All of Gareth Southgate’s England subs at Euro 2024, from pointless to actually good


A correction
‘If England are enjoying relative success in any tournament, the moment arrives when it is necessary to retell the story of King Canute’ – Martin Samuel, The Times.

‘No it’s f***ing not’ – Mediawatch, F365.


Deutschland über alles
Having told us that England fans should never have admired Austria, Martin Samuel is here to tell us that England fans should never have admired Germany.

If England were Germany we’d be in awe. Look at the Germans, we’d say, playing lousy and in the semi-finals. Why can’t we be like that? And then when we are like that, we’re furious. Why can’t we play well? Look at Germany, playing well, getting knocked out. Why can’t we be like that?

Nonsense. If England were Germany and had just been knocked out by a very good Spanish side in the quarter-finals, while Germany were in the semi-finals having failed to beat Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia or Switzerland in 90 minutes, we would be calling them ‘jammy bastards’. And we would be absolutely right.