Gary Lineker and Micah Richards respond to backlash over BBC coverage of England vs Switzerland

Will Ford
Former England striker Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker and co. were criticised for their overly positive take on England vd Switzerland.

Gary Lineker and Micah Richards have responded to criticism that the BBC’s coverage of England’s win against Switzerland was overly positive.

The duo were part of the BBC team analysing the Three Lions’ victory over the Swiss on penalties which saw them through the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Rio Ferdinand joined them and all three were waxing lyrical over a display which appeared to be not a great deal better than previous performances in Germany, one of which – the draw with Denmark – Lineker described as “sh*t”.

Too negative and too positive

Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast, Richards said: “We got a little bit of… I wouldn’t say stick, people were saying we were a little too positive for England.”

Lineker added: “Before they were saying we were a little bit too negative. There are always going to be people who will disagree with you.”

Richards believes that while it wasn’t the best of England performances, it was considerably better than what they had seen up to that point in the tournament.

Richards said: “Yeah, but I think it’s nice to explain. Ok terms of the first game, Serbia, we all had huge expectations of what England were going to do, they weren’t great.

“Then we had Denmark who were really organised. Then we had Slovenia and we see in their system, 4-4-2, they defend really deep in a low block, difficult to break down. Then we have Slovakia where of course last-minute brilliance from Bellingham and Kane wins it in extra time.

“When I said England were brilliant I’m comparing them to the previous four games. I’m not saying they were the finished article.”

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‘If we were being really picky..’

Richards added: “All the things you mentioned, higher up the pitch, Foden as the No10, all the things we’ve been crying out for. Maybe if we were being really picky would we have put Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right-wing-back, I think that would’ve been perfect for him but then you lose Saka and he played so well.

“Obviously the positive is Luke Shaw coming back into the side as well, looked like he had not been away from football for the time he has.

“So I like to clarify what we meant. We were in the emotion of the game at the time. It was just a better performance.

“In terms of Southgate, could he make his subs earlier? Yes, we agree with that.”

Lineker added: “I think the second half was nowhere near as good as the first half.”