England: Richards responds to Shearer dig with four reasons for praising Three Lions v Switzerland

Lewis Oldham
Alan Shearer and Micah Richards
Alan Shearer and Micah Richards during a BBC broadcast.

Micah Richards has responded to Alan Shearer after he questioned his fellow pundit, who praised England for improving their performance against Switzerland.

England have underperformed at Euro 2024 but have still booked their place in the semi-finals of the competition after beating Switzerland in the previous round.

Gareth Southgate‘s side arguably produced their best performance of the tournament to date against Switzerland as they came back from behind to draw 1-1 to take the tie to extra-time before winning 5-4 on penalties.

Richards, Gary Lineker and Rio Ferdinand flooded England with praise at half-time during the BBC’s coverage of the Switzerland match.

Shearer was busy on commentary duties at the time and did not agree with the level of praise given to England. Asked by Lineker about his thoughts on the performance, he answered: “I think it was their best performance. They did improve, although they didn’t improve as much as you three said at half time…”

Richards tried to butt in and shouted: “Hold on.” But Shearer continued. He added: “I still think they can go again, and go up another gear or two. But what they do have in abundance is that team spirit and that they know how to get through games.”

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Richards later attempted to defend himself. He said: “When we were so positive about England, we were talking about the previous games and talking about a Swiss side who had been really good.

“Really good combinations, knew how they wanted to play their system. We were talking about them getting higher up the pitch.”

England striker Harry Kane thinks the squad have responded “really well” to the criticism they have received at Euro 2024.

“There wasn’t (a specific) meeting – as one of the leaders and as the captain of the team you’re always talking to players, always talking especially to the newer players, they’re always asking you questions about experiences, etc,” Kane said.

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“I think we did a pretty good job of preparing all the players before the tournament for what tournament football is like because, of course, you have to go out there on the pitch and perform well and do that side of it.

“But with tournament football, there’s a lot that goes into it, it is a long time away with each other, a lot of preparation, a lot of time in the hotel, there’s a lot of media attention. So it’s about dealing with all that.

“I think over the years since Gareth has been here and since I’ve been captain, we’ve handled that really well and I think this tournament has been no different.

“The expectation has maybe been a little bit different from the start and maybe the noise has been a bit louder but I think we’ve all handled that really well and some players will use it as motivation.

“Some players will block it out and ultimately it’s just down to what we want to achieve and we have a really close togetherness, not just players but staff as well and we’ve all been in the same direction for a while now and that’s all we are thinking about.”