Fans of the English national football team can be excused if they bunked off work yesterday to go to the EURO 2020 match against Germany at Wembley or watch it on the telly. They’d also be excused if they had a skinful of beers last night after the 2-0 win on the hallowed ground. After all, it’s been 55 years since a win against Germany in a major tournament; the last time was winning the World Cup final in 1966.
After that time, there are many fans who’d never seen such a victory in their lifetime. But, now they can saviour a little of the pleasure in beating an old foe, of many battles.
Pundits and journalists can yack on about how the win came about.
It was a tight match for about 60 minutes, with England’s team selection set up to deny rather than create. That changed when Grealish came off the bench in the 69th minute and a master playmaker was now in play. He had a hand in both goals but more importantly the team mindset had changed from containment to can win.
After Sterling scored in the 75th minute, he nearly went from hero to zero when he gave a short back pass that was latched onto by Müller. He ran through to face Pickford and shot…agonisingly wide. The image of Sterling holding his head in relief should be framed on a wall.
Kane, limping along, sealed the deal in the 86th minute.
It was delirious joy around the country:
At the match, no better sight for that was a cheering Prince William-an avid Aston Villa fan, obviously glad for his man, Jack Grealish.
What I would have done to be closer to all of that. I’d planned lunch with my eldest for after the match and we were both full of adrenaline. It’s been a while and losses to Germany along the way have been PAINFUL, especially after penalty shootouts. But, that’s the past. Now, can England bring it home?